Hollywood actor and pilot Harrison Ford refused to be “glibly opinionated” about President Barack Obama’s proposed aviation tax increases, but told The Daily Caller at the Capitol that aviation fuel taxes are the “fairest and most expedient way” for the federal government to raise revenue.
Following his meeting with the Senate General Aviation Caucus on Capitol Hill Tuesday, TheDC asked Ford if he agreed with the White House’s idea to raise taxes on airline passengers and corporate planes to reduce the nation’s budget deficit.
“Certainly we have to fund the airline system. I mean, fund our system and we need the mechanisms to create revenue for airports and development of airports, preservation of airports,” said Ford, a general aviation pilot who reportedly owns seven planes.
“I’m not fully aware of the details of these issues so I don’t want to be glibly opinionated about it one way or another, but I do think that the collection of taxes through a tax on fuel is the fairest and most expedient way to increase funding.”
According to the IRS, the federal tax on aviation gasoline is currently $19.4 cents per gallon. In addition, as a way to cut the nation’s $1.5 trillion deficit, the White House has proposed to double the aviation security fee implemented after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks to $5 per trip starting in 2012, with 50 cent increases each year until 2017. The proposal also seeks to increase the “per flight” fee for corporate planes from $60 to $100 and create a mandatory $100 per trip fee for aviation operators who fly in controlled airspace.
The Air Transport Association says the proposed tax increases would eliminate 10,000 industry jobs.
The Alliance for Aviation Across America agrees, with Ford, that the fuel tax system already in existence is the fairest. “The president has consistently referred to businesses that use general aviation aircraft as wealthy CEOs who deserve additional taxes,” Executive Director Selana Shilad said on September 27. “It makes no sense to move from the existing fuel tax mechanism.”
Ford was also asked by TheDC if the security fee increase would hurt the airline industry.
“I can’t really give you… I don’t have an opinion on that,” Ford told TheDC.
Ford also said he was not going to “deal with” answering questions about his past comments on President Barack Obama’s performance in office.