Says passage of the Hudson/Richmond bill restores the round-trip cap, bringing application of the passenger security tax in line with Congressional intent
WASHINGTON, Sept. 17, 2014 –Airlines for America (A4A), the industry trade organization for the leading U.S. airlines, applauded unanimous House passage of bipartisan legislation authored by Reps. Richard Hudson (R-NC) and Cedric Richmond (D-LA), along with House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-TX) and Ranking Member Bennie Thompson (D-MS), to protect airline customers from higher passenger security taxes, which are unlawfully being collected by the federal government.
Since its inception, the passenger security tax was assessed on a per-enplanement basis and capped at a maximum of $5 for a one-way trip (maximum two enplanements) or $10 for a round-trip itinerary. Last year, as part of the bipartisan budget deal to reduce the deficit, Congress simplified the fee structure by creating a flat $5.60 fee per one-way trip. Congress made this change against the backdrop of the existing round-trip cap and expected it to remain in place.
The Hudson/Richmond bill addresses the Administration’s misinterpretation of congressional intent and restores the cap, thereby saving passengers over $60 million annually. The federal government is already collecting an additional $1.2 billion in passenger security taxes annually – on top of the near-record $2 billion in security taxes paid last year. Adding insult to injury, nearly all of the additional revenue will be used to reduce the deficit, not to enhance aviation security.
“Today’s bipartisan vote recognizes the critical role U.S. airlines play as drivers of economic growth and jobs, and ensures that our customers are not penalized by an unnecessary tax increase,” said A4A President and CEO Nicholas E. Calio. “The bill’s passage sends yet another clear signal to the Administration to rescind its attempt to increase the cost of airfare. We thank Congressmen Hudson and Richmond for their leadership to reinstitute the round-trip cap as Congress intended, and urge the Senate to follow suit.”
For information on the tax burden facing airlines and their customers, visit StopAirTaxNow.com.
Annually, commercial aviation helps drive $1.5 trillion in U.S. economic activity and more than 10 million U.S. jobs. U.S. airlines fly 2.4 million passengers and more than 58,000 tons of cargo each day. Airlines for America (A4A) advocates on behalf of the American airline industry as a model of safety, customer service and environmental responsibility and as the indispensable network that drives our nation’s economy and global competitiveness.
A4A works collaboratively with the airlines, labor, Congress, the Administration and other groups to improve aviation for the traveling and shipping public.