By: Todd DeFeo
ATLANTA, April 14, 2013 – A White House proposal to levy additional taxes on travelers has drawn the ire of the industry trade organization that represents U.S. airlines.
Airlines for America (A4A) said the White House plan would increase taxes on fliers by 29 percent – totaling roughly $5.5 billion per year.
Air travelers currently pay an estimated $19 billion in federal aviation taxes and fees. The Obama Administration proposal would increase or add a smattering of fees, including a new $100 per flight departure tax and a tripling of the Transportation Security Administration passenger security to $7.50 for each one-way trip, A4A said.
“The President’s budget represents an unprecedented tax grab on the backs of airlines and their customers, who already pay more than their fair share of taxes,” A4A President and CEO Nicholas E. Calio said in a statement. “Adding $5.5 billion per year to the industry’s tax burden completely ignores the vital role airlines play as a driver of our economy and jobs.
“Instead of using the U.S. airline industry and its customers as a piggy bank for deficit reduction, this Administration should view airlines as the engine of economic growth they are,” Calio added. “Our fragile economy and the millions of middle class Americans who rely on air travel and shipping every day simply cannot afford tax increases that will drive up the cost of flying or limit service options to small communities across the country.”
For a typical $300 round trip domestic ticket, customers average paying $61 – or 20 percent – in taxes, according to A4A. Under the White House proposal, customers would pay an estimated $75 – or 25 percent – in taxes on a comparable ticket.