CARSON CITY, NV (KXNT) – Stop Air Tax Now, a project of Airlines for America, on Wednesday, released an analysis they said details the higher fees that Nevada fliers will pay if Congress approves a proposal to raise a fee passengers pay when flying out of commercial airports. The fee hike could be approved as early as February 8.
The proposal would increase the Passenger Facility Charge (PFC), a tax added to the cost of plane tickets that is transferred directly to airports, by $4, to $8.50, on the first leg of each flight. The study showed that travelers flying out of Nevada will annually pay up to $92.43 million more in PFC’s under the new proposal.
“This tax is wholly unnecessary and nothing more than a greedy and easy way for airports to raise more revenue by placing a greater economic burden on the back of everyday commercial flyers who are already paying more than their fair share in aviation taxes,” said Charlie Leocha, President and Co-Founder of Travelers United.
The tax increase, proposed under the guise of modernization and expansion requirements, comes as airports in Nevada took in $566.56 million in operating revenue last year, $96.35 million in PFC revenue and $33.64 million in grants. Additionally, Nevada airport facilities have access to $6 billion dollars in federal funding from the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) trust fund.
The tax increase would add up to $85.34 million annually to the coffers of McCarran International Airport (LAS), the most of any airport in the state. LAS alrady has $439.86 million in unrestricted cash and investments and collected $89.57 million in PFC’s last year.
Reno-Tahoe International Airport would also see up to $7 million annually from the increased tax despite receiving $6.74 million last year.
Passengers flying from smaller airports like Elko Regional Airport would pay the highest amount in PFC’s because most trips from smaller airports require a connecting flight. Under the fee increase, passengers flying out of smaller airports will pay $13 in PFC’s on each flight–$8.50 on the initial leg of the trip and $4.50 for the second flight.
The existing Passenger Facility Charge (PFC) Program allows the collection of PFC fees up to $4.50 for every enplaned passenger at commercial airports controlled by public agencies. PFC’s are capped at $4.50 per flight segment with a maximum of two PFC’s charged on a one-way trip or four PFC’s on a round trip, for a maximum of $18 total. The proposed $4 increase on the first leg of a flight will increase the round-trip maximum to $26.
More detailed information on specific states and airports can be found at http://www.stopairtaxnow.com/pfc-impact-revenue-state.