Airlines for America (A4A) has called for Congress to deny increases to Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) security fees just as the administration rebuffed an undeserved increase in the passenger facility charge (PFC).
Congress should instead turn its attention on returning billions of dollars that were channeled from TSA and CBP to pay for non-aviation related purposes, rather than increase taxes on the public as stated in the 2019 budget proposal.
“Increasing taxes in any form will add to the cost of flying for millions of Americans, curtail job growth and limit the options small and medium communities currently enjoy,” A4A President and CEO, Nicholas E. Calio, said.
“Billions of dollars have already been diverted from aviation security to go towards deficit reduction or other sectors of government. Congress should return this revenue to its intended purpose instead of raising TSA and CBP fees. Passengers already pay 21 percent in taxes on a typical domestic ticket and increasing them can’t be justified,” the A4A boss continued.
Since 2013, an estimated $1.3 billion each year in TSA fees are being diverted away from their projected purpose, which is to pay for aviation security screening. Additionally, the 2015 highway bill instead utilized CBP fees to pay for highway spending.
Specifically, the administration’s fiscal year (FY) 2019 budget request projects $2.9 billion annually over 10 years in increased federal aviation taxes and fees on the traveling and shipping public, which include:
TSA Passenger Security Fee Increase
The budget proposes to raise the passenger security fee by $1 per one-way trip in FY2019 and another $1.65 in FY2020, resulting in a total fee cost of $8.25 per one-way trip
Immigration Inspection User Fee & Customs Fee Increases
The budget proposes an increase in the customs user fee from $5.65 to $7.75 and immigration user fee from $7.00 to $9.00.