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Thu, Feb 10, 2005

TSA Wants A Security Fee Hike

Airlines, Passengers Fuming

If President Bush's budget passes muster on Capitol Hill, it's going to cost more to fly commercial. That grumbling you hear is coming from both the front and rear of the aircraft.

The president's new budget calls for an increase of $3.00 to the airport security tax for both one-way and multi-leg trips. The idea: boost revenues from the tax by $1.5 billion a year. The money would go to the TSA.

Already, airlines and their passengers pay sizeable taxes and government fees. That money funds the FAA and the TSA, among other things.

"It's easy once these taxes are on the books to increase them. It's easier to raise them than it is to engage in fiscal self-discipline," said John Heimlich at the ATA. He was quoted by the Washington Times.

Of course, there are other tariffs charged to air transport operators. There's a fuel tax, a cargo tax, an agriculture inspection tax.

Pretty soon, said Mike Miller, an aviation consultant at the Velocity Group, airlines, cargo companies and other aircraft operators will be taxed right out of business.

"The issue isn't the security tax. The issue is the cumulative effect of all the taxes," Miller told the Post. "The taxes were added over many years as Congress and administrations have looked at aviation as a cash cow."

FMI: www.tsa.gov

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