C. - Airlines for America (A4A), the industry trade organization for the leading U.S. airlines, today called on Congress to consider further efficiency within the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) â not further taxes on airline passengers as proposed in the fiscal year 2013 budget passed by the House Budget Committee.
The budget would double the security tax from $2.50 to $5, which would cost airline passengers more than $700 million annually. Ironically, a budget proposal aimed at driving economic growth would in fact undermine it through this provision.
A4A said programs that take a risk-based approach to security, including TSA Pre Check and Known Crewmember, which enable TSA to focus its resources on greater threats are a more appropriate way to improve efficiency within the TSA, which has seen its staff size increase by 400 percent in the last decade.
"We cannot continue to put more taxes on airline passengers, who already pay more than $60 in taxes on a typical $300 round-trip ticket with this disappointing and short-sighted approach that ultimately will discourage business travel and tourism," said A4A President and CEO Nicholas E. Calio. "We support building on the good work of Administrator John Pistole to create more efficiencies at the TSA â not add more taxes to customers who are already overburdened."
Airlines and their customers today pay 17 different federal taxes totaling $18 billion annually, and air travel is taxed at a federal rate that is higher than alcohol and tobacco, products taxed to discourage their use.