Bill addresses misinterpretation of Congressional intent in application of the passenger security tax
WASHINGTON, Sept. 15, 2014 – Airlines for America (A4A), the industry trade organization for the leading U.S. airlines, applauded legislation introduced today by Reps. Richard Hudson (R-NC) and Cedric Richmond (D-LA), along with 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, regardless of the number of enplanements. 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. This bill also is in line with the intent of the Chairs of the Senate and House Budget Committees, Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), and Speaker John Boehner, who affirmed that Congress did not intend to change the definition of a round-trip cap. The federal government is collecting more than $1 billion in additional passenger security taxes from airline customers – and the revenue is not even being used for security.
“Reinstituting the cap on passenger security taxes is a win for airline customers who are already paying more than their fair share in federally imposed taxes,” said A4A President and CEO Nicholas E. Calio. “I applaud Congressmen Hudson and Richmond for their leadership to protect airline passengers from an excessive government revenue grab, which unnecessarily drives up the cost of travel and jeopardizes air service to/from small and rural communities.”
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 2.3 million passengers and more than 55,000 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 groups, Congress and the Administration to improve air travel for everyone.