Yesterday afternoon, the House voted to approve a measure¬†that allows airlines in the United States to advertise ticket prices without¬†taxes included. Airlines can tout base ticket prices without the 20 percent¬†premium travelers must pay due to government taxes and fees.
‚ÄúThe measure, backed by both parties, passed after eleven¬†minutes of debate and no objections. There wasn‚Äôt even an objection to passing¬†it without a roll call vote. The legislation would change the way airlines can¬†advertise prices,‚ÄĚ reports the Washington¬†Examiner.
At the current point in time, airlines must advertise ticket¬†prices that include taxes and government fees. They also need to list a¬†breakdown of the ticket cost separately. Federal regulators implemented this¬†current advertising structure in 2012 as a means of providing transparency to¬†consumers.
House sponsor of the bill, Bill Schuster, said that the¬†current law pertaining to airline advertising actually hinders transparency in¬†the industry. According to Schuster, the current structure hides government¬†fees and taxes, preventing consumers from understanding the full extent of the¬†level of taxation they face when travelling.
Costs have been increasing for airline travelers over recent¬†years because the government is raising the taxes and fees associated with¬†buying an airline ticket.
‚ÄúLast week, the government hiked a Transportation Security¬†Administration fee to $5.60, more than doubling it for nonstop flights. The¬†hike was approved last December to help offset the cost of reversing unpopular¬†budget cuts without increasing the deficit,‚ÄĚ continues the Washington Examiner‚Äôs report on the issue.
There are 17 types of taxes and fees that airline tickets¬†are subjected to.¬† This¬†substantially drives up the cost of tickets, leaving many Americans unable to¬†afford air travel.
The National Taxpayers Union has supported the House of¬†Representatives‚Äô push to allow airlines to advertise without taxes, saying that¬†flyers have ‚ÄúThe right to know how much of their airfare is going straight to¬†the Treasury.‚ÄĚ
Opponents of the measure say that airlines use ‚Äúbait and¬†switch‚ÄĚ tactics to lure consumers into buying tickets they cannot afford once¬†taxes are taken into account.
Overall though, the move by Congress is a step in the right¬†direction according to those who favor transparency when it comes to taxes on¬†consumer goods and services. Many Americans are unaware of the fact that¬†government taxes are the reason why much of their everyday purchases are¬†becoming more and more expensive.