Delta Air Lines Works Hard To Prevent Substantial Tax Increase – Do They Want Special Treatment?
Of course, it is always unfortunate when a government seeks to increase taxes. American Airlines, Alaska Airlines, and UPS are working hard and empowering their lobbyists to do what they can to prevent Alaska from increasing it’s fuel taxes. The increase is across-the-board for all fuel, jet, marine diesel, and gasoline, and is expected to raise $80 million per year in revenue for the government.
According to the Puget Sound Business Journal:
The governor has vowed money raised under the new tax would be dedicated to infrastructure in the places they were collected. Aviation fuel proceeds would go to airports, for example, while gas taxes would be reserved for road repairs.
Alaska Airlines regional vice-president Marilyn Romano, in a letter written to outline the airline’s opposition to the tax, said the company’s own calculations indicate that Alaska Airlines alone would pay 45 percent of all new taxes collected if either of two bills, HB 60 or SB 25, pass the Legislature.
In a joint letter opposing the tax, Nick D’Andrea, vice president of UPS public affairs, and Dana Debel, a managing director for Delta, said “the proposed 300 percent increase in the jet fuel tax” would exacerbate a fragile and complex system where taxes are collected at the state’s biggest airports and redistributed to the smaller ones that don’t charge landing fees.
Now, I am all about stopping tax increases for anybody who feels they would be impacted by such an increase. However, I would be interested to know whether, specifically Delta Air Lines, are seeking to stop the tax in general or whether they hope they will receive a special carve out in the bill that would prevent airlines like them from paying the tax. If I were a betting man, I would be willing to bet that Delta Air Lines would gladly accept using its lobbyists to get a carve out where it would not be included in the new tax.
What would be wrong with the airline using its power to prevent itself from having to pay a tax? Well, there is nothing wrong in principle for them to do that, but it would be very interesting given that Delta is so avidly opposed to foreign airlines that rely on funding from their governments to operate. Delta has been on of the most vocal critics against foreign airlines, particularly in the Middle East/Gulf Region, because they are heavily subsidized by their own governments. If Alaska were to make an exception to this law, it would essentially be a government handout to Delta. So, If they are asking for a carve out, Delta should put its money where its mouth is seek to stop the entire tax from passing, therefore ensuring they aren’t receiving the special treatment they so avidly oppose.