Another tax on air travelers? It’s nonsense

Rochelle Peachey is no stranger to high taxes and fees on airline tickets. A frequent flier between Miami and London, she routinely sees government charges that double the price of her ticket.

Not when she flies domestically, though. Here, taxes add about 20 percent to the cost of a fare.

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But all that might be about to change. The Obama administration’s deficit-reduction plan includes a new mandatory $100 surcharge per flight for air traffic control services, which airlines would pay directly to the Federal Aviation Administration. The fee, however, would almost certainly be passed along to customers. The plan also raises the passenger security tax from $2.50 to $5 per non-stop flight, and eventually to $7.50.

“It’s crazy,” says Peachey, who runs a dating Web site based in Miami. “If taxes go up even more, they’ll kill the dream for many people, especially for a family that wants to travel.”

She’s not the only one angered by this part of the government’s deficit-reduction plan. A recent letter to the speaker of the House, the Senate majority leader and the co-chairmen of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction signed by 116 members of Congress expresses “strong opposition” to the proposal. “Imposing a new fee on the aviation industry in order to raise revenue would have a devastating impact on the aviation industry and fails to achieve our shared goal of improving the economy and creating jobs,” it notes.

The airline industry is unhappy, too. To put it mildly. In a campaign that includes newspaper ads and a Web site, it’s trying to prevent the proposal from taking off.

“Aviation is already taxed at a higher rate than alcohol, beer, cigarettes and firearms — products taxed at high rates to discourage use,” says Steve Lott, a spokesman for the Air Transport Association, an industry trade group. “In short, the administration is proposing a huge new tax on the least profitable and most highly taxed industry in the economy, while all its competitors are left untouched.”

But no one will be hit harder than passengers, experts say.

“The airline industry will figure out some way to pass this tax along to the consumer,” says Thomas Cooke, a federal taxation expert at Georgetown University’s business school. “It’s incredibly unfair to air travelers.”

Why tax air travel? Because, Cooke says, passengers are “an easy target” with no organized voice in Washington, so officials believe that they’ll offer little resistance. And until now, that’s proved to be correct. Many of the self-styled passenger advocates have remained silent on this issue, and the reaction from air travelers has been largely one of resignation.

But that’s changing. Passengers such as Eric Smith, an aerospace technician from Gaithersburg, are “stunned” by the administration’s proposal. They’re most galled by the fact that most of the money would go to reduce the deficit, while the balance would fund something that passengers aren’t exactly clamoring for — a larger Transportation Security Administration. “Aren’t we already paying a 9/11 security fee?” asks Smith.

In fact, air travelers are paying more than their fair share in taxes, including a Sept. 11 fee of up to $10 per round-trip ticket, to fund the TSA, as well as a planeload of other taxes, including passenger ticket taxes, international departure taxes, a jet fuel tax, an aviation security infrastructure fee and an immigration user fee.

I wondered whether anything in the administration’s current budget-reduction proposal would benefit air travelers.

“There are zero benefits,” tax expert David Selig told me. “The only thing that gets raised are air travelers’ stress and frustration levels. Higher taxes provide travelers a stronger incentive to either stay home or find an alternative means of transportation, which ultimately costs airlines in the end.”

Maybe the only “benefit” — if you can call it that — is that this will fund the expansion of a dysfunctional federal agency that many air travelers believe should be disbanded. In fact, a citizen-initiated petition posted on the White House Web site, encouraging the administration to abolish the TSA, has already gathered more than 25,000 signatures.

The administration’s proposed tax is a shrewd move, say observers. Not only will few air travelers bother to lift a finger in opposition, but in the short term, it won’t reduce their numbers. At least that’s the assessment of Northeastern University finance professor Harlan Platt.

“I don’t think that many people will try to ship themselves through in their spouse’s luggage,” he told me. “But given the fact that airline passengers are being asked to pay for other government programs, such as the extension of the unemployment payments program or the building of a bridge to nowhere, this is a further example of an administration that thinks it should collect monies from millionaires and retired grandmothers alike.”

This proposal might make sense if it actually helped air travelers in a meaningful way (it doesn’t) or if you could make the argument that the airline industry is responsible for the current deficit (it isn’t).

Otherwise, it’s nonsense.

63 thoughts on “Another tax on air travelers? It’s nonsense

  1. Government operates for the benefit of government workers. It’s superior to raise taxes and fees than to cut employee pay and benefits.

  2. The $100 per flight really isn’t as bad as it sounds – that’s only about $0.50-$2 for most flights (50+ seats) which would work out to less than 1% per ticket almost all the time. Even with the $20 increase in security tax, it still isn’t that much compared to what it could be.
    If anything, it would discourage the use of the small RJs that everyone seems to hate.
    It still is pretty much always the richer people who do fly, and if they are really that sensitive to price (which I doubt many people are, as Harlan Platt said), airlines will respond by cutting capacity slightly accordingly.

    1. But, as your analysis indicates, place a higher burden on the passengers flying smaller planes. Smaller planes fly to smaller cites, hence a higher burden on Main St. vs Wall St.

      1. So you’re saying that an air traffic controller does less work to guide in a small plane than a bigger one?  Or that the radar or GPS used to track a small plane is cheaper than one to track a larger plane?  Whilst nobody likes paying taxes, I’m certainly not opposed to the air transport industry paying for the cost of, well, the air transport industry.  Whether or not this tax is justified, your logic is clearly flawed.  Some activities should be funded on a ‘per passenger’ basis, like passenger security or the some ‘facilities’ fees, and some on a ‘per takeoff and landing’ basis, like air traffic control or the cost of runways and jetways.

    2. One of the problems with this though, Fred, is that if this goes thru, and they don’t exempt smaller aircraft from the increase, it will kill off quite a few smaller regional airports, which generally use commuter-type aircraft with fewer than 20 seats.  People in the mid-west may have to drive several hundred miles to a larger airport to catch a flight.  A few states may be left with no viable airport at all.

    3. So if he taxes are small enough then they’re OK because we don’t feel it?  Nonsense.  That’s why we have an out of control system.

    4. “It still is pretty much always the richer people who do fly”

      Really?  My husband and I are no where NEAR rich and we fly all the time, he using a company card, me using our personal funds, as I am self-employed.  

      I have to say, I get on some of these flights and wonder if I’m on one that is being sponsored by a homeless coalition what with the way people dress nowadays for flying.

      But, it IS good to know my husband and I are rich.  I wish our bank thought so too and put a few more zeros on our balance.  *SIGH*, class warfare…

    5. Hi Fred,

      I think you are making a kind mistake in your calculation.
      $100/50= $2 correct,  but how much does it cost to charge $2?
      I guess you are looking at a doubling of that figure just to make sure there is a profit, then there are additional service costs and administration costs, additional infrastructure costs, etc…. so in the long run could it be that those  $2 will cost $20 to the passenger?

      Because you do not seriously expect you ticket to be rised by only $0.50-$2 do you??

    6. It still is pretty much always the richer people who do fly

      Indeed.  Let them eat cake.  Maybe the tax ought be $200 per flight and keep some of this riff-raff off flights with us.

  3. Another “Main Street” tax attack.

    From what I read this tax is per aircraft, not per passenger. A larger city with a lot of full widebody aircraft going in and out will see its travelers impacted less than a smaller city served by regional aircraft.

    So an 767-200 going JFK-LAX that has 168 seats will see an addtional tax of 59.5 cents per passenger, assuming a full flight, going coast to coast.

    A 19 seater between Key West and Ft. Lauderdale will also be taxed $100, or $5.26 per passenger on a full flight on a short hop.

    It doesn’t seem like much, but these numbers are based on full flights, so they will be higher, possibly more than double, once you take the actual route load factors into account.

    The smaller the plane, the smaller the city, the more they pay. 

    Unfortunately, the general public will think, “what’s the big deal about 59 cents” and do nothing. New York and LA pay less. Fargo and Peoria will pay more.

    Air travel, the new vice, more taxes than booze and cigarettes!
     

    1. You’re aboslutely right.  Those people in the Dakotas will end up having to drive to Minneapolis or possibly Omaha, NE to catch a flight.

  4. This is another asinine idea proposed by the most over-hyped and under-performing President in American history, guaranteed to make him a one-term blip in the scheme of things.  As proposed by many in talk radio, he should do the honorable thing, like LBJ, and decline to run again.

  5. Most odious is the tax to fund the TSA. Note that it is not capped at $7.50, it can be administratively raised by the TSA after that. The TSA is ineffective and is not held accountable to anyone. It’s a step toward a police state.

  6. It appears that we are all averse to additional taxes but so subservient to airlines adding ancillary fees on what used to be included in the price of the ticket. The net result of the ancillary fees did not see an increase in airline employment or an improvement in service. Travelling on international flights takes into account the taxes levied by the destination country and that of any stop over country, so there is not much that can be done about it. 
    Just saying

    1. “The net result of the ancillary fees did not see an increase in airline employment or an improvement in service.”

      Did the fees allow airlines to become more profitable, avoiding layoffs? Have no airlines increased service since then? 

      1. The baggage fees are probably neccesary for the airlines to turn a profit.  But they should just charge a high enough fare to be profitable and be done with it.  Buying an airline ticket today is like buying a car without a passenger seat.  It’s an “option”, but most people are going to want it.

  7. If those travelling on the airlines are going to be taxed, then Intercity buses, cruuise lines and Amtrak should also have their fair share of add on taxes also, one part of the transportation system should not be singled out.

  8. “The airline industry will figure out some way to pass this tax along to
    the consumer,” says Thomas Cooke, a federal taxation expert at
    Georgetown University’s business school.”

    I am so glad we got an expert to evaluate that for us. 

    1. LOL…what taxes in ANY industry are not passed to the consumer?

      I have a rental home. When calculating the rent to charge, shall I NOT include the property tax and figure that into the monthly rent?

      I actually got into a discussion with someone on this subject who felt that if I couldn’t afford the taxes I should sell the house before passing that expense onto the renter. So yes, hard to believe, some people just don’t get it.

    1. Umm, you do remember which administration form the TSA, right?

      Here’s another question: do you think of a Republican gets into office that TSA is magically going to go away?

        1. Ron Paul is not going to get anywhere near the White House, much less the chance to get rid of TSA, so the point is moot.

          1. Ridiculous.  If you support the elimination of TSA, vote for it.  If large numbers of people vote for Ron Paul, he will win.  Or would you rather vote for someone who gets his jollies off the TSA’s child molestation program?  Should we vote for Obama, who thinks that when the TSA sexually abuses innocent people, it’s a funny joke, ha ha? [note: I voted for Obama in the last election. Then he laughed in my face for being all sensitive about government thugs engaging in ritualistic sexual abuse. Never again.] Since there is no other anti-TSA, anti-middle-east-nation-building, anti-drug-war, pro-civil-liberties candidate, Ron Paul is the only real choice in this election.  It’s Ron Paul, or more of the same terrifying police state racing at a dead run towards totalitarianism.  TSA’s VIPR is on highways now; how long until the TSA creeps in your bedroom window at night, to “keep you safe”?

          2. “Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul told Chris Mathews on MSNBC Friday that he would not have voted in favor of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, if he were a member of congress at the time. ”  May, 2011

            I think America’s of good character can do better than that buffoon.

          3. Would you care to offer the name of another presidential candidate who would do the right thing now and disband the TSA?  If so, I’d carefully consider voting for him or her.  Protecting myself from government-orchestrated sexual assault is too important to compromise.

  9. For some reason my Facebook login stopped working here so I had to put my Google login in it’s place…  All my “likes” are gone!!!!!

    Anyway, it would seem the current president doesn’t seem to understand the words, “No taxes on the middle class”.  He works to implement these policies that WILL place the financial burden on the middle class but he does it in a way that allows him to say, “I didn’t tax the middle class.  I taxed the airlines. *SHRUG*”

    He’s an idiot and needs to go so we can get back to the business of fixing our economy.  Three years of nothing being done is long enough.

  10. I would have no problem with a tax increase that went to help fund the FAA.  In fact, I think a $1.00 per aircraft seat per flight tax would be a very fair tax for both large and small air markets.

    What I don’t like is a tax that is aimed at “reducing our deficit” that is placed only on airline travelers.  It would become another “sin” tax and I hate sin taxes.

  11. When will our chief Dummycrat ever “get it” that it’s not a “lack of revenue” that is the problem but rather EXCESSIVE SPENDING?!

    1. Dave, I think you hit the nail on it’s head. We are OVERSPENDING. Both parties are. As my post below shows we barely collect enough excise taxes and fees to pay for airports, the FAA and inspections. The US Taxpayer has to subsidize the cost of air travel. And that subsidy is really MORE DEBT!

  12. No, it’s not crazy Rochelle Peachey. You are simply misinformed.

    Take a look at what a typical airline ticket from Miami to London is composed of.
    Let’s look at the breakdown of a $719.80 ticket:

    BASE FARE:             158
    FUEL SURCHARGE:     362
     TOTAL AIRLINE:       520    (72.24%)

    US TAX:                   57.10
    UK TAX: GB/UB:       142.70
    TOTAL TAXES:        199.80  (27.76%)

    TOTAL TICKET:        719.80

    US Tax & Fees ($57.10) is only 7.93% of the total ticket price.
    If you buy a more expensive ticket, the Tax as a percentage is smaller. Why? Because US International Tax is a FIXED amount .

    Ms. Peachey, the airlines are getting at least 72% of what you paid out.
    The UK is charging almost 3 times more than the USA!
    So stop bitching and moaning at the US Government. You are ignorant!

    And dear Mr. Elliott, before you make such a post, you need to do more research.
    More and more, general revenue funds have been used to fund the FAA, DHS, etc. For airport improvements, BONDS were also used to raise money.

    Read —

    TAXES:
    Taxes collected when you buy your airline ticket goes to the
    AIRPORT AND AIRWAY TRUST FUND (AATF):

    Domestic passenger ticket tax – 7.5% of fare
    Domestic flight segment tax – $3.70 per segment except rural airports
    Alaska or Hawaii flight tax – $8.70 per passenger
    International arrivals and departures – each $16.30 per passenger
    Mileage Awards tax – 7.5% of value of miles
    Domestic commercial fuel tax – $0.043 per gallon
    Domestic general aviation gasoline tax – $0.193 per gallon
    Domestic general aviation jet fuel tax – $0.218 per gallon
    Domestic cargo or mail tax – 6.25 percent on the price paid for transportation of domestic cargo or mail.

    Here’s what the GAO has to say in 2011 –
    http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-11-358T

    In fiscal year 2010, FAA’s expenditures totaled about $15.5 billion, with Trust Fund revenues covering about $10.2 billion, or 66 percent, of those expenditures.
    While total FAA expenditures grew about 60 percent from fiscal year 2000 through fiscal year 2010, the Trust Fund’s revenue contribution only increased 12 percent, while the contribution of general revenues from the U.S. Treasury has increased to cover a larger share of FAA’s operations expenditures.

    IN OTHER WORDS – the average US Taxpayer is paying more and more for the FAA. The US Traveler is not paying his or her FULL and FAIR SHARE!!!

    AIRPORT FEES:

    Passenger Facility Charges [XF] (up to $4.50 per enplanement, capped at 2 enplanements each way) – goes to FAA to finance FAA-approved eligible airport related projects

    Here’s what the GAO had to say in 2006-
    http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d03497t.pdf

    From 1999 through 2001, airports received an average of about $12 billion a year for planned capital development.
    The primary source of this funding was bonds, which accounted for almost $7 billion, followed by federal grants and passenger facility charges, which accounted for $2.4 billion and $1.6 billion, respectively.

    Sources of Airport Funding – 1999-2001 average annual funding

    Airport bonds – $6.90B  59%
    Airport Improvement Program grants –  $2.42B  21%  (Congress makes funds available from AATF).
    Passenger facility fees  –  $1.59B   13%
    State and local contributions –  $0.44B  4%
    Airport revenue –   $0.42B 4%

    IN OTHER WORDS – US Passengers are only paying 13% of the cost to maintain airports and runways!!! The rest are paid for by the US Taxpayers. Wait till you see the aiports not be able to pay for those BONDS!!! Do you want your airports to be owned by Goldman Sachs or Morgan Stanley or JP Morgan?

    TSA SECURITY FEES:

    US Security Fee [AY] ($2.50 per enplanement, capped at 2 enplanements each way).

    According the the DHS:
    http://www.dhs.gov/xlibrary/assets/budget_bib_fy2011.pdf
    The latest (FY2011) TSA budget is $5.56B for Aviation Security (AVSEC).
    The TSA makes about 625 million screenings a year.
    That translates to a budget of approx. $8.90 per screening.

    According to the FAA, there were only 635.3M enplanements in 2010.
    http://www.faa.gov/news/fact_sheets/news_story.cfm?newsId=12440

    The # of enplanements the # screenings since some connections are air-side and do not require another screening.
    Nevertheless, if we use last year’s numbers (TSA budget $5.214B for AVSEC divided by 635.3M enplanements), then the cost per enplanement was approx. $8.21.

    If passengers only pay $2.50 per enplanement (capped at $5 per direction), then the shortfall is about $5.70 per enplanement. Guess who pays this?

    Please note that the Aviation Security (AVSEC) budget does *not* include the budget for Air Marshals. They cost another 950M for 2011.

    IN OTHER WORDS – the $2.50 per enplanement collected today does not cover the cost of the TSA so the general taxpaying public pays for the BULK of the TSA!!!

    Finally the GAO says this about the other fees collected by US Border Control, Agriculatural Inspections, etc…
    CBP officials said even if the customs fees were spent on inspection-related activities, they still would only recover about 72 percent of costs in fiscal year 2006.
    As usual the US Taxpayer pays for the shortfall !!!

    Steve Lott, Thomas Cooke, Eric Smith,  David Selig, and (yes) Chris Elliott should be ashamed of themselves.
    The US Air Traveler is the LEAST TAXED traveler compared to UK, France, Germany (peer countries).

    If there should be an OCCUPY TRAVEL it should be about the 99% demanding to stop subsidizing airline travel.
    In fact air traveler should pay back the ordinary US Taxpayer for all the years they have been subsidized.
    They should return the money to the general fund.

    STOP THE MISINFORMATION !!!

    1. Tony, you want the misinformation stopped – then stop spreading it.

      One example in your post:  PFCs are proposed by the airport authority, approved by FAA, collected by airlines and remitted directly to the airports.  These monies never get close to the FAA/Federal coffers.

      PFCs can be used to pay for anything that airports can use Airport Improvement Program (AIP) grant funds for, plus some additional uses.  AIP does come from FAA grants, which is funded by Congress each appropriations cycle with funds from the Aviation Trust Fund – revenues for which are derived from Federal taxes on air transportation.

      1.  I just lifted it directly from the GAO report. I did not INVENT a single word about the PFCs. Are you telling me that the GAO is wrong?

        But the real important point is WHO IS PAYING FOR ALL THE COST?
        Are you contesting the GAO figures? Do you have any better data than the GAO? I bet the average taxpayer is also paying for it. That’s the issue.

      2. Hey DC Av Pol Wonk, seems to me YOU ARE THE ONE SPREADING MISINFORMATION. Nowhere in my post did I claim the the PFCs collected are given to the FAA or the Federal Coffers.

        As a matter of fact I know as a travel agent that the PFCs are identified to which airport they should go (i.e coded as XF xxx where xxx is the airport).

        What is your agenda?

        1. I guess this was the confusing statement:

          AIRPORT FEES:Passenger Facility Charges [XF] (up to $4.50 per enplanement, capped at 2 enplanements each way) – goes to FAA to finance FAA-approved eligible airport related projects

          1. OK I see the error – it should be “goes to finance FAA-approved eligible related projects”. When I cut and paste, I copied that part twice and did not erase the correct parts. My bad.

    2. I don’t think you used enough ! or capitals.

      You do miss a few items though.
      – Airports do not only exist to service air travelers. They are a hugely important part of the overall US economy.
      – You have neglected to mention any taxes that are part of the base fare and the fuel surcharge.
      – I have never seen a ticket break out the total cost of fuel for a flight as your ticket seems to suggest. Which airline/itinerary was this? 

      1. Airports exist to serve airplanes that land and take off there. They could be cargo, passenger or military. Yes they are a part of the US economy. For example, the Memphis Airport is largely used by Fedex. Unfortunately the OTHER AIRPORT REVENUES only contributed to 4% to the cost of running our airports.

        I mentioned the excise tax of aviation fuels. The airlines obviously pay these as they are a cost to doing business.

        Taxes are NOT part of the base fare. They are identified separately.

        I said the FUEL *SURCHARGE* is broken down in the total cost of the ticket. And that goes to the airline.

        The point I am trying to make is that the US Traveler pays LESS TAX compared to his/her peers in the UK, Germany and France and that the US Taxpayer is actually SUBSIDIZING Air Travel.

        If any of you have any data showing otherwise post it here and let’s start the debate.

        1. You only mention taxes paid by the traveler. You do not mention taxes paid by the airline.  Your use of capitals will not change anyone’s mind. You still didn’t mention which airline or itinerary this was. Most people on this site like to look things for themself.

          1. BillC, did you read? I said there is a excise tax on airline fuel. It goes to the AATF. The AATF funds the FAA. And as DC Wonk said the Congress can take monies from the AATF to fund AIP. The point is the whole AATF (including the tax airlines pay for fuel) is not enough to cover the expenses of the FAA. The same is true for PFCs + AIP. They are not enough to cover the cost of the airports. I wonder why this is a surprise to you. The government is not collecting enough money compared to what it spends.

            And the example I used above is AA MIA to LON (the route Ms. Peachy mentioned).
            Here’s the fare construction for your examination:
            ADT MIA AA LON 79.00AA MIA 79.00NUC158.00END ROE1.00AA XT
               32.60US5.00XA2.50AY94.50GB48.20UB362.00YQ4.50XF MIA4.5
             TX 5.50YC 7.00XY 32.60US 5.00XA 2.50AY 94.50GB 48.20UB
                362.00YQ 4.50XF

            If you still don’t believe me, maybe you will believe the U.S. Government Accountability Office. The links are there above.

    3. Totally true, it’s the reason I avoid transiting by LHR or CDG. When going from Montreal to Asia I save 450$ by going by the Pacific route rather than Atlantic route. The difference is collected by the Airports fees and Fuel Surcharge.

      1. You are correct. Perhaps if Ms. Peachey simply picked Venice, instead of London, as a better romantic destination, then she would pay less taxes overall. The typical Italian airport taxes is only $23 in-and-out. That’s less than half of the typical minimum Int’l tax and fees here in the USA ($57.10 roundtrip).

        The fuel surcharge of China and EVA Airlines from New York to Asia (10,000+ miles) is about $240, whereas the typical fuel surcharge to continental Europe (4,300+ miles) is $420. What a joke! People should be complaining more about fuel surcharges but they want to target that $5 security fee per enplanement.

    4. Thank you very much for doing the research and putting FACTS together.  I had contemplated just ignoring this particular post because I found it to be devoid of hard information. The caption/headline itself shows bias – “Another tax on air travelers?  It’s Nonsense.”   No doubt that wording elicited some of the knee-jerk responses we have here.

      No one alive wants to pay more taxes but all deficit-reduction increases, not just those on air travel, must be examined in total.

      1. Thanks Sadie. At first I almost believed the “propaganda”. But when I started to read the budget of the TSA, it shocked me. So I went to the US GAO website and started searching and READING. Took me a few hours to realize that I was being fed BS by bloggers. The bottom line is that gov’t. is not collecting enough for what it is spending. So we either INCREASE TAXES or DECREASE SPENDING. It’s a tough choice.

        And I want to point out to all that Ms. Peachey complaining about taxes should be aimed at the United Kingdom which charged her almost 3 times more the USA charged her.

    5. A cut-and-paste from the GAO report? Seriously?

      These proposed taxes, as I said in the story, are going to deficit reduction and funding the most unpopular agency in the history of the union, the TSA. Guess you missed that part.

      You’re twisting Peachey’s words, too. She never said “US” taxes, she said taxes and fees on a ticket.

      Come on, you can do better than that.

      1. No Chris, I know that point. I read Charlie Leocha’s post about the same thing several weeks ago at the Consumer Travel site. Yes, there is a piece about Obama’s plan to take security fees monies and move it to the General Fund. Well while it sounds objectionable to you and your friends, where were you when they moved General Funds to the Airport and Security expense shortfalls. Isn’t it just fair that the General Fund is paid back what it “lent” in the first place.

        You mention the word TAX several times in your post. And Ms. Peachey said ““It’s crazy,..If taxes go up even more, they’ll kill the dream for many people,
        especially for a family that wants to travel.” You never said that she was complaining about UK taxes which is almost 3 times more US taxes and fees. Yet the whole article is a rant about US taxes and fees.

        And cutting and pasting the GAO numbers, well guess what, your post is devoid of any facts and figures. Just a bunch of rants from industry insiders. How about hard numbers Chris? Did you even read that I had to estimate the cost of Aviation Security per enplanement. That’s not cut and paste. I need to dissect the AVSEC part of the 2010 TSA budget by the number of enplanements in 2010 reported by the FAA. This is how I came to the conclusion that the current $2.50 security fee charged to passengers is not enough to cover the budgeted cost per enplanement ($8.21). So the US Taxpayer ends up subsidizing the TSA.

        It is so bizarre that anyone who actually spends time to research what is really going on and wants to share what he found out (even if he simply cuts and pastes it) is berated while others who just blow a ton of hot air are not. Well I guess that is what blogging is all about. If you don’t want us to post facts and figure found in other sites then you need to provide some substantiating data in your articles.

  13. I voted NO:  if Ms. Thatcher’s principle is followed then the users of services pay for them – and I believe dear Ronnie Reagan identified closely with her.  So, clients of airlines, you must pay for all the services that airlines require … and that includes air traffic control.

  14. IS OBAMA AND HIS ADMINISTRATION TAKING DRUGS?

    ADDING AN ADDITIONAL TAX OR SURCHARGE ON AIRLINE’S THAT WILL END UP AS A NEW CHARGE ON TICKETS IS ABHORRENT.  THE GOVERNMENT NEVER THINKS ABOUT THE CONSEQUENCES OF THEIR ACTIONS. 

    THE CONSUMERS, WHO ARE ALREADY TORMENTED AND TERRORIZED BY THE INCOMPETENT EMPLOYEES OF THE TSA (FROM THE VERY TOP DOWN) WILL BE ASKED TO FUND THESE ACTIONS.

    MOST OF THE PEOPLE FLYING ARE NOT MILLIONAIRES OR VERY WEALTHY PEOPLE.  IS THE ADMINISTRATION TRYING TO ENSURE THAT ONLY THE RICH WILL BE ABLE TO FLY?  SO MUCH FOR CARING FOR THE POOR FOLK.

    I USED TO FLY OVER 50,000 MILES A YEAR.  NOW I TAKE ONLY 1 FLIGHT A YEAR.  I GOT VERY TIRED OF THE INCIVILITY OF THE TSA EMPLOYEES AND THE AIRLINE EMPLOYEES AND AIRLINE POLICIES.  PEOPLE DESERVE BETTER TREATMENT.  IF I CAN DRIVE TO MY DESTINATION I WILL GO BY CAR. 

  15. Perhaps the most asinine comment is by the “expert” suggesting that the tax “might” be passed along to the traveler.  Where did you go to university to learn to make such a dumb butt comment.  OF COURSE it will be passed along to the traveler, with a markup to cover the administrative cost of collection, tracking and reporting.

    Here’s a flash – NO CORPORATION HAS EVER PAID A DIME IN INCOME TAX.  Anything that is collected under the guise of “corporate income tax” has to come from profits the corporation makes.  The corporation makes profits on sales they make to consumers.  WE pay the corporate income tax in the price of the goods and services we purchase. 

    Those who dismiss OWS or any of the other Occupy demonstrations either didn’t live through the sixties, didn’t pay attention in history classs, are elitist, or dumb as a bag of glass.  If these millions of people EVER figure out why they’re demonstrating and someone finds a way to glue all this energy and passion together, the riots during the ’68 Democrat convention in Chicago will pale by comparison.  WE HAVE BEEN WARNED.  A lot of people are mad as hell and they aren’t going to put up with it any more.  And it has NOTHING to do with Democrat or Republican politics.

  16. Doesn’t matter what happens, the airlines just will just pass it along to us while complaining that they’re overtaxed. No, the only ones overtaxed here are we the people, not the corporations.

  17. The Buraucracy has a voracious appitite for public funds so that it can maintain it’s lifestyle. I only wonder what they will do when the Tax Rate hits 100%? Supporting an “underground economy” has become a matter of financial survival.
    These new taxes do not create any jobs. Quite the opposite in fact. Call, mail, e-mail, twitter, facebook your Sate Representative & yell loudly.

  18. I hesitate to say this – but – I can’t be that original . . . .

    Local, county and state governments who maintain roads could simply force you to file a return every single and identify the amount of time you spend on their roads and force you to pay a tax to maintain them.  Thus, if you are city resident you vote yourself out of the tax but you have to pay a tax everytime you travel on someone elses roads. 

    Then there will a gps transponder that will keep track of where you are and what you are doing and whose roads you are on and forces you to pay a fee to some centralized government organization that parcels out the money to each city.  Then you will get other companies who will generate the cheapest routes based on current fees. 

    Its coming – they just have not gotten that creative yet. 

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