Maui Now: Bill Seeks to Exempt Hawaiʻi From Travel Fee Increases

April 25, 2017
In The News

Maui Now, March 30, 2017

A bill seeking to exempt Hawaiʻi, Alaska, and communities that rely on essential air services from increases in TSA air travel fees was introduced today by Reps. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02), Colleen Hanabusa (HI-01), and Don Young (AK-AL).

Currently, the Passenger Fee Restructuring Exemptions Act recognizes the reliance on air travel that residents of Hawaiʻi and Alaska face and lowered the states’ TSA fee to $2.50 for interstate direct flights.

“Hawaiʻi and Alaska share unique geographic challenges that make our dependence on air travel a necessity. As such, any increase in TSA fees disproportionately hurts our residents, tourists and businesses alike. This bill redresses that wrong by exempting Hawaiʻi and Alaska from the disparate impact of these fee increases,” said Rep. Colleen Hanabusa.

In late 2013, Congress raised the national TSA fee to $5.60 and could increase the fee to $6.60 in fiscal year 2018.

“The doubling of the TSA fee since 2013 has had a disproportionate, negative impact on Hawaiʻi residents and businesses who rely on air travel as the only available mode of transportation for everyday necessities like commerce, healthcare, education, and more. As Congress considers raising the TSA fee again, our bipartisan legislation will help relieve this cost burden by exempting Hawaiʻi and Alaska, and other communities who rely solely on essential air service, from this tax,” said Rep. Tulsi Gabbard.

“Simply put, current aviation security fees disproportionately affect the residents of my state due to our unique reliance on air travel. I have opposed fee hikes in the past and have consistently worked with my Hawaiian colleagues to alleviate the hardships placed on those without transportation alternatives. This bipartisan legislation will address this inequity and allow our residents, who depend on air travel, to access and grow their economies without being overburdened by the growth of government fees,” said Rep. Don Young.

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