It’s been smooth sailing, or should I say flying, for the jet fuel tax proposal, sponsored by Sen. Anitere Flores and Rep. George Moraitis, as it passed its first committee stops in both the House and Senate with no opposition.
The proposal, which is being supported by almost the entire airline industry (including airlines Allegiant, American, Delta, JetBlue and Southwest) and is being spearheaded by Airlines for America (A4A), would institute an across-the-board 3.3 cents per gallon tax on jet fuel.
As it stands, an outdated tax incentive program exempts select air carriers from paying jet fuel tax, which among other things, supports the maintenance of infrastructure at airports across Florida.
The incentive may have made sense years ago when Florida was trying to attract the likes of giants such as Pan Am II. Now, though, Florida has a thriving marketplace for airlines and competition is abundant, making a tax-incentive program unnecessary and providing an unfair competitive advantage to those few airlines that aren’t paying the tax.
The industry also contends that no other state in the country provides a jet fuel tax incentive program like Florida does and this year’s Jet Fuel Tax Proposal would bring Florida in line with other states.
We’ll see what the future holds for this jet fuel tax proposal that many in the Capitol are watching, but, for now, it’s being met with no turbulence.