Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) President Grover Norquist this week sent a letter to the Senate Appropriations Committee urging members to oppose any efforts to include an increase of the fee known as the Passenger Facility Charge (PFC) in the 2018 Senate Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development (THUD) Approrpiations Act.
The letter reiterates ATR’s long held opposition to increasing the PFC, and reminds Senate lawmakers that increasing or uncapping the PFC is wholly unecessary. Currently U.S. airports are enjoying record levels of revenue and have over $12 billion in unrestricted cash and investment on hand. It is also the case that in 2016 the PFC brought in record highs of over $3.1 billion, and revenue for 2017 is projected to increase to over $3.36 billion.
Increasing the PFC is wildly unjustified and would come at the expense of the traveling public, which already pay over 20% in government taxes an fees on an average domestic flight.
Text of the letter is below and can be found here.
Dear Members of the Senate Appropriations Committee:
On behalf of Americans for Tax Reform (ATR), and millions of taxpayers nationwide, I write to reiterate ATR’s long held opposition to efforts to increase the fee known as the Passenger Facility Charge (PFC).
ATR is specifically opposed to any efforts to include a PFC increase in the 2018 Senate Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Act.
As you may know, many airports, along with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), have advocated for increasing the PFC, arguing such an increase is needed in order to continue infrastructure investments. However, it is entirely possible for airports to continue making such improvements without increasing the cost of flying.
According to recent financial reports filed with the FAA, US airports have over $12.7 billion in unrestricted cash and investments on hand, which equates to 362 days of liquidity. Additionally, the Airport and Airway Trust Fund (AATF) is at its highest level since 2001, with an uncommitted balance of $6 billion.
FAA reports show that U.S. airports brought in a record $27 billion in 2015 alone. This included record highs of $10.7 billion from airline rents and fees and $9.1 billion from non-airline revenues such as retail and food and beverage.
Government taxes and fees already overburden air passengers – taxes make up over 20% of the cost of an average domestic flight. In 2016 the PFC brought in a record high of over $3.1 billion and revenue for 2017 is projected to increase to over $3.36 billion.
It is for these reasons that ATR opposes any efforts to include a PFC increase in the 2018 Senate Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Act.
Grover G. Norquist
Americans for Tax Reform