Airlines Fight Proposed Takeoff Tax

Bernard Weinstein, economist at SMU's Cox School of Business, talks about possible effects of federal levy of taxes on airline takeoffs.

DALLAS - President Barack Obama’s deficit reduction proposal calls for in part an increase in passenger security fees and a $100 takeoff tax on business and commercial airlines.

The administration’s goal is to raise $36 billion over the next 10 years to help trim $4 trillion off the national deficit.

But the airline industry says those new taxes simply won’t fly....

“I have a concern. At this point with the economy and the industry in a fairly fragile condition, this would just not be a smart thing to do,” said Bud Weinstein, a Southern Methodist University economist.

He said the $100 takeoff fee would probably hit Southwest Airlines and other short haul or regional carriers harder because they have more takeoffs.

“We’re already seeing airlines cut back on capacity in order to deal with these higher fuel costs. And then to throw additional taxes and surcharges and fees on top of that, I don’t think it would be good for the industry or the flying public, or for the economy,” Weinstein said.

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