House budget plan calls for increased airline taxes; ALPA opposes

The House of Representatives today voted in favor of a budget plan proposed by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI).  This budget includes an unwarranted proposal to double the TSA Security fee from $2.50 per segment to $5 in each direction. 

Increasing the TSA Security Fee harms passengers, and airlines, and aviation workers.  This is a misguided proposal, and one that has been rejected in the past by Congress.  The airline industry is already subject to some of the highest taxes in the country – even beating the levies imposed on “sin” industries like alcohol and tobacco.  Raising the costs on airlines by doubling the TSA Security Fee would be devastating on an industry that is still trying to recover from years of losses.

Joakim Karlsson at MIT has studied how the Senate increase in the TSA security fee would impact airlines and their employees.   He found that if airlines chose to absorb the full cost of the new tax, they would pay an additional $727 million per year in taxes- a huge sum for an industry with razor thin margins.  If airlines choose to pass this fee on to consumers, they face the prospect of losing passengers who must pay a higher ticket price.  The end result is reduced capacity, higher fares, and fewer pilot and aviation industry jobs.

We again urge Congress to reject any increases in the TSA security fee and instead focus on policies that will level the playing field for the industry, increase U.S. international competitiveness and advance U.S. leadership in aviation safety

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