New Report Underscores Massive Tax Giveaways to Private Jet Set

The private jet industry spent $56 million dollars to lobby Congress to save more than $1 billion in taxes for America’s most affluent fliers, says a new report released by the IPS.

Posted on 12/2/17
By Staff | Via ViewsWeek
(Photo by ValiGreceanu, CC license)

The Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) has released a comprehensive report highlighting the massive tax giveaways extended by the tax bill under consideration in Congress to the private jet industry. The report also looked at the significant security threats presented by private jets and the detrimental impact they present to our environment.


The report: High Flyers 2017: How the Private Jet Lobby Shifts Costs To the Rest of Us, Threatens Our Security, and Fuels a Warming Planet,” authored by Chuck Collins and Josh Hoxie shows that while the Republican majority in Congress proposes to extend massive tax breaks for private jet fliers, they also propose nearly doubling fees for commercial airline passengers, the think tank said in a press release on November 30. IPS is a progressive think tank dedicated to building a more equitable, ecologically sustainable, and peaceful society.


The study examines the $56 million dollars spent by the powerful private jet lobbying industry in Washington over ten years to receive more than a billion dollars in the form of outrageous tax giveaways by Congress every year.


“When you think of who benefits from this GOP tax plan, think about the private jet set,” said report author Chuck Collins, lead author of a 2008 report on the same topic. “The private jet lobby and their wealthy constituents have used their clout to shift costs onto the commercial flying public.”


“The bottom line is that every day American flyers, those stuck in the middle seat of commercial flights, are basically paying for the rich and affluent to jet from coast to coast on their Learjets,” said Josh Hoxie.  “While students, teachers, and middle class families see their taxes rise as a result of the Republican tax bill, private jet owners continue to be heavily subsidized. It’s absurd.”


Some of the key findings of the study include:

  • The tax cut package under consideration in the Senate maintains and expands the private jet tax carve out, while the Republican budget plan almost doubles the fees on commercial airline passengers.
  • Private jets contribute less than one-tenth of the resources they use from the federal aviation administration trust fund. Commercial airline passengers heavily subsidize private jet passengers.
  • Commercial jets are taxed at up to 40 times the rate of private jets on the exact same route despite identical needs in terms of transportation infrastructure.
  • Private jets threaten our national security as owners can obscure their identity and passengers face zero security screening.
  • A single private jet trip burns more greenhouse gases than the average American does in a whole year.

The study also calls attention to a push by GOP in Congress which would make it more expensive for commercial airline passengers to fly. A recent provision inserted in the Senate Transportation Appropriations bill would nearly double the Passenger Facility Charge (PFC), a fee collected by commercial airports paid by airline passengers on every flight.  If the provision passes, a family of four flying round trip cross-country with a layover would see their PFC rise from $72 to $104 by next year.


Read the full report here:

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