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Obama Adminstration proposes airline tax increase

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Congress considers doubling airline taxes reported the Wall Street Journal on December 10, 2013.

Congress is proposing increasing the security fees paid on airline tickets.

Passengers currently pay an airline tax also known as a “September 11th security fee” of $2.50 per flight segment. A nonstop flight incurs a $2.50 security fee while a flight that has a connection is $5 or more.

The airline tax was instituted after September 11th to establish and fund the Transportation Security Administration.

The Obama administration has proposed an increase to the security fees paid by airline passenger, and has suggested increasing the security fee to $5 for each one-way flight, regardless of whether the flight is nonstop or a connection.

An increase of airline taxes to $5 each way would generate $732 million a year in revenue to help fund the TSA. Currently, airline passengers pay the TSA $2 billion a year in security fees.

The TSA would not comment on the proposed security fee increase.

Additional increases to the fee have also been proposed by the Obama administration. The administration would like to raise the fee to $7.50 by the year 2019.

Increasing the security fee for all airline passengers is estimated to raise $25.9 billion over 10 years. With $8 billion earmarked to fund the TSA and other airline security measures and the remaining $18 billion put towards decreasing the national debt.

Consumer groups are opposed to the security fee increase.

Airlines for America president, Nick Calio, said the proposed fee increase puts the onus on the airlines “to make it look like the airlines are raising ticket prices when, in fact, [lawmakers are] taking something they call a fee and are using it for more federal spending.”

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