Today, Americans for Tax Reform, joined by a strong coalition of groups representing millions of concerned citizens and taxpayers, urged Members of Congress to reject any effort to increase fees on the aviation industry. As the Joint Committee debt negotiations draw closer, there will be increased pressure on fiscally prudent members to accept revenue measures in exchange for spending reform. Such measures must not include tax hikes or discriminatory fees, which distract from the core of the debt problem – government overspending. From our letter:

We write to strongly condemn the inclusion of any new aviation industry taxes as part of any deficit reduction measure currently being considered by Congress. It has been rumored that Members of both the House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate are contemplating a new flat “user fee” (tax) on all take-offs and landings of general aviation aircraft, and increases in commercial airline ticket taxes – a move which would impose an unfair and destructive tax burden on an important sector of the U.S. economy. It defies reason for Congress to place additional taxes on the general and commercial aviation industry at this particularly vulnerable time.

This new tax would not only hurt general aviation manufacturing, it would also unfairly target small to mid-sized businesses across the country in particular. The ripple effect would wash over numerous communities throughout our nation who rely on this important form of transportation for commerce, goods, medical care, and a host of resources. In fact, 85 percent of all businesses that depend on general aviation are small to mid-sized businesses.

New taxes on commercial aviation are equally unacceptable. Commercial airline tickets are already taxed at a high level, and increasing those taxes will further discourage consumers from purchasing them at a critical time for the industry, which is facing high fuel taxes and a weak economy. Proposals that attempt to hide tax increases by labeling them as “security fees,” “landing fees,” or any new so-called “user fee” will simply be passed on to all passengers, and should be opposed outright.

Signatories include: American Civil Rights Union, American Conservative Union, American Family Business Institute, Americans for Prosperity, Americans for Tax Reform, Carleson Center for Public Policy, Center for Fiscal Accountability, Center-Right Coalition of Florida, Citizen Outreach, Competitive Enterprise Institute, Freedom Action, Independent Women’s Voice, Institute for Policy Innovation, Less Government, Management Association for Photogrammetric Surveyors, National Taxpayers Union, Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council, Taxpayer Protection Alliance

Click here to view the letter.