- The federal government imposes 17 unique airfare taxes and fees on the U.S. aviation industry and on airline passengers. These taxes totaled nearly $18 billion in 2011.
- Federal taxes and fees amount to about 20 percent of a typical $300 roundtrip domestic ticket. These air taxes are higher than those on other travel options and on products such as alcohol, tobacco and firearms, so-called “sin taxes” that are designed to discourage use.
- The rising federal aviation tax burden has nearly tripled since 1972. The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) has estimated that for every $1 increase in taxes, passenger traffic decreases by up to 2 percent. At a time when every dollar matters to consumers and businesses, even the smallest increase in total trip costs can influence their decision to book a flight.
- Reducing the tax burden would help keep airline ticket costs affordable, giving the traveling public the ability to travel more often. To do so, Congress should repeal the jet fuel taxes, which cost 4.4 cents per gallon, and stop increasing other air taxes. Passengers, communities, businesses and shippers can’t afford higher airfare taxes.
- Repeal the Jet Fuel Tax: In 1993, a temporary tax was applied to transportation fuels and commercial jet fuel. While our railroad and commercial waterway industries stopped paying the tax in 2007, U.S. airlines and passengers are still paying more than their fair share – to the tune of $381 million annually. Now is the time to repeal this temporary air tax to keep airfare affordable.
- Stop Increases to the Passenger Security Tax: A federal proposal to double the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) passenger security tax would cost more than $730 million annually. Yet, TSA is adequately funded: U.S. airlines and passengers paid $2.2 billion in taxes and fees to the agency in 2011 – a 50 percent increase from the amount collected in 2002, even though passenger traffic has only increased less than 2 percent.
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