Ryan-Murray budget deal hikes air travel security tax by 124 percent
The newly-released budget deal between Democratic Sen. Patty Murray and Republican Rep. Paul Ryan will hike the aviation security fee paid by air travelers by 124 percent, if passed.
Murray and Ryan settled on an agreement that would hit air travelers with a fee of $5.60 per one-way flight — or $11.20 for a round-trip excursion.
That’s 60 cents higher than the $5.00 fee the Department of Homeland Security requested, and represents a huge jump up from the current $2.50 minimum security fee.
Ryan had reportedly backed a $5.00 maximum fee during the budget negotiations.
DHS has been desperate for a fee increase to cover what the agency feels is a massive budgetary shortfall for the Transportation Security Agency, with current security fees covering only about 25 percent — or $1.9 billion — of the TSA’s $7.5 billion annual costs.
But the Ryan-Murray deal doesn’t earmark the new revenue for TSA. Instead, the funds will be deposited into the “general fund of the Treasury,” where they are supposed to help partially rollback the sequester and offset the automatic spending cuts set to begin in January.