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Coalition to Congress: Airports, travelers would benefit from user fee cap increase

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Congress could empower airports to make infrastructure improvements by lifting the federal cap on the passenger facility charge, a Competitive Enterprise Institute-led coalition of free market groups urged congressional appropriators in a letter this morning. The letter challenges false claims that lifting the cap would amount to a tax increase:

We the undersigned write to you today to dispel myths surrounding a proposal to increase the current airport passenger facility charge (PFC) cap from $4.50 to $8.50. Airlines and their allied organizations have claimed that raising the PFC cap amounts to a tax increase. The PFC is a user fee. Passengers who pay the fee directly benefit from infrastructure improvements made possible by the fee revenue.

The underlying problem with the PFC is that Congress failed to allow the cap to increase with inflation over the years. Last raised in the year 2000, inflation has eroded the PFC’s buying power by nearly half. > View the full letter

The Senate Appropriations Committee has included language raising the cap from $4.50 to $8.50 in the Senate version of the 2018 transportation funding bill, which Congress must approve by Dec. 8 to fund the government. The letter urges appropriators to keep that provision in place.

Related: Up in the AIRR, Part 1: Passenger Facility Charge Modernization