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Front Page » Top Stories » Miami International Seeks Federal Ok For Passenger Tax Hike

Miami International Seeks Federal Ok For Passenger Tax Hike

Written by on September 6, 2001

By Victor Cruz
miami international seeks federal ok for passenger tax hike miami wyndham to get $14 million rehab, marriott flag panel in town to weigh uses of homestead base us commerce to promote services program developed by chamber flagstone could put 2 hotels on watson, committee votes financial health of performing arts center’s residents varies performing arts center backers look to state for more funds calendar of events fyi miami filming in miami front page about miami today put your message in miami today contact miami today job opportunities research our files the online archive order reprints miami international seeks federal ok for passenger tax hikeBy Victor Cruz

A request by Miami International Airport officials to raise passenger taxes by $1.50 per ticket will be sent this week to the Federal Aviation Authority for approval, said Zeke Orji, the county’s Aviation Department finance manager.

The increase to the $3 fee passengers already pay and that goes toward airport improvements would become effective "no sooner than January" if the FAA approves the request, Mr. Orji said.

The new rate would result in a net gain of $14 million in 2002 after entitlement grant funds are reduced to compensate for the increased rate, according to county documents.

In late June, the aviation department wrote in a draft application that the additional funds would be used toward a $278 million project that is already under way and scheduled to be finished at the end of 2003.

The work outlined in the draft included improvements to three gates at a cost of $118.6 million, extension of an upper roadway for $87.2 million and an aircraft apron for $12.9 million.

In July, the aviation authority added several million dollars in construction projects to taxiways, a vehicle drive extension and mid-field development to the existing request, Mr. Orji said.

Airline officials were notified of the potential change in April. A meeting with them was held by county representatives in May.

The airlines, which get a 12 % fee for processing the tax, have expressed approval, Airport Director Angela Gittens said.

Authority for granting the federal tax, which appears among other fees on airline tickets, has been around since the passage of the Capacity Expansion Act of 1990, which created the charge to provide revenue for airport capital development, according to county documents.

A federal reform measure officially implemented May 30, 2000, opened the door to allow an increased maximum "passenger facility charge," according to documents.

"About 55 of the nation’s 250 major airports charge what MIA does," Ms. Gittens said.