Yesterday afternoon, the House voted to approve a measureÂ that allows airlines in the United States to advertise ticket prices withoutÂ taxes included. Airlines can tout base ticket prices without the 20 percentÂ premium travelers must pay due to government taxes and fees.
â€śThe measure, backed by both parties, passed after elevenÂ minutes of debate and no objections. There wasnâ€™t even an objection to passingÂ it without a roll call vote. The legislation would change the way airlines canÂ advertise prices,â€ť reports the WashingtonÂ Examiner.
At the current point in time, airlines must advertise ticketÂ prices that include taxes and government fees. They also need to list aÂ breakdown of the ticket cost separately. Federal regulators implemented thisÂ current advertising structure in 2012 as a means of providing transparency toÂ consumers.
House sponsor of the bill, Bill Schuster, said that theÂ current law pertaining to airline advertising actually hinders transparency inÂ the industry. According to Schuster, the current structure hides governmentÂ fees and taxes, preventing consumers from understanding the full extent of theÂ level of taxation they face when travelling.
Costs have been increasing for airline travelers over recentÂ years because the government is raising the taxes and fees associated withÂ buying an airline ticket.
â€śLast week, the government hiked a Transportation SecurityÂ Administration fee to $5.60, more than doubling it for nonstop flights. TheÂ hike was approved last December to help offset the cost of reversing unpopularÂ budget cuts without increasing the deficit,â€ť continues the Washington Examinerâ€™s report on the issue.
There are 17 types of taxes and fees that airline ticketsÂ are subjected to.Â ThisÂ substantially drives up the cost of tickets, leaving many Americans unable toÂ afford air travel.
The National Taxpayers Union has supported the House ofÂ Representativesâ€™ push to allow airlines to advertise without taxes, saying thatÂ flyers have â€śThe right to know how much of their airfare is going straight toÂ the Treasury.â€ť
Opponents of the measure say that airlines use â€śbait andÂ switchâ€ť tactics to lure consumers into buying tickets they cannot afford onceÂ taxes are taken into account.
Overall though, the move by Congress is a step in the rightÂ direction according to those who favor transparency when it comes to taxes onÂ consumer goods and services. Many Americans are unaware of the fact thatÂ government taxes are the reason why much of their everyday purchases areÂ becoming more and more expensive.