The Christmas-Flight Tax

by Brian Bolduc

The feds won’t tax your Christmas tree, but they might tax your flight home. CNN reports:

As we all know, the federal government is short on revenue, and it has been trying to find a way to reduce costs as well as increase money coming in the door. A small part of that plan involves the airlines.

The plan being put forth has two tax changes. One would see the security fee increase from $2.50 per segment to a flat $5 each way. With proposed yearly increases, it will hit $7.50 each way by 2017 and may climb from there. (The rule only specifies that it can’t go below $7.50, but the Department of Homeland Security can continue to bump the tax up).

Would this help pay for better security? Not so much. About 60% of the revenue from this would be directed solely toward deficit reduction and not toward security at all.

The other tax would slap a $100 fee on every single airline departure. That might sound like peanuts in the scheme of things, but it could have some pretty negative impacts, especially on small cities that are already hurting for service. Small cities are served by small aircraft, so a $100 fee per airplane has a much higher impact per passenger on smaller planes.