WASHINGTON, DC – Airlines for America (A4A), the industry trade organization for the leading US airlines, today urged New Jersey lawmakers to reject proposed legislation to increase the effective rate of the jet fuel tax, making it almost 18 times its current level. A4A warns that any attempt to divert jet fuel tax revenue to fund roads, highways, bridges or any other non-aviation infrastructure projects, violates federal law and puts the state at risk of losing federal resources.
In a letter to New Jersey Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto and Senate President Stephen Sweeney, A4A Senior Vice President and General Counsel David Berg noted that hiking the jet fuel tax would result in both unintended and undesirable consequences for New Jersey families and businesses who rely on affordable and convenient cargo and passenger air transportation.
“Commercial aviation is vital to the health of New Jersey’s economy, supporting nearly 150,000 jobs in New Jersey and driving $22.1 billion in economic activity,” Berg said. “Efforts to hike the effective jet fuel tax rate will jeopardize jobs, air service options and the affordability of airfare and shipping for New Jersey families and businesses – while leaving the state at a significant competitive disadvantage.”
Berg also noted that failure to comply with the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) revenue use policy could lead to serious sanctions imposed by FAA or the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), including the withholding of federal grant dollars to improve airport and highway infrastructure.
“Funding roads, bridges or any other non-aviation related project on the backs of airline customers is nothing more than a bait and switch, and a clear violation of federal law,” said Berg. “We urge lawmakers reject any attempt to saddle airlines, our employees and their own constituents with this unnecessary jet fuel tax hike.”