Americans for Tax Reform this week released a letter urging members of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee to oppose any efforts to include an increase of the fee known as the Passenger Facility Charge (PCF) in the Senate’s recently introduced bill to reauthorize the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
The PFC program allows for the collection of PFC fees for enplaned passengers at commercial airports controlled by public agencies, with revenue going to fund airport improvement projects. The PFC is currently capped at $4.50 and maintaining the PFC at this level is a benefit to the traveling public.
Revenue generated in recent years by commercial airports has been record breaking, in addition to record breaking amounts of revenue generated from the PFC. Thus it is wholly possible for airports to continue making improvements without incresing the cost of flying for passengers.
The recently released Senate FAA reauthorization bill did not include any provisions to uncap or increase the PFC and Senate lawmakers should oppose any future efforts to amend the bill that would increase or uncap the PFC.
Full text of the letter is below and can also be found here.
June 26, 2017
Dear Chairman Thune and Ranking Member Nelson:
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).
Proposals to allow for uncapping and increasing the PFC represent an unnecessary and unfair burden to airline passengers and should not be included in the Senate’s recently released bill to reauthorize the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
Given the current record levels of revenue and PFC collections at airports, 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 PFC revenue for 2017 is projected to increase to over $3.36 billion.
It is for these reasons Americans for Tax Reform urges members of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee to oppose any efforts to include uncapping or increasing the PFC as part of the Senate FAA reauthorization bill.
Grover G. Norquist
Americans for Tax Reform
Photo credit: Iulian Ursu