Fri, Mar 23, 2012
Files Legal Complaint Against Levy It Says Illegally Penalizes U.S. Carriers
Airlines for America (A4A) on Wednesday filed an initial legal complaint to reject the German Air Transport Tax, which the advocacy group says illegally penalizes carriers serving the country by taxing U.S. airlines the maximum amount of $59 per passenger.
The tax, which went into effect in January 2011, charges airlines with U.S. flights the highest of three tax brackets imposed by the scheme. While A4A and its members have complied with the tax under protest, they now are pursuing legal action because the tax violates several long-standing international agreements, including the Chicago Convention, the U.S.-EU Open Skies Agreement and the German Constitution.
A4A facilitated the filing of the legal complaint with the German Fiscal Court in Kassel. "Germany cannot arbitrarily close its budget gap on the backs of the U.S. airlines and their passengers who already pay taxes at excessive rates," A4A said in a prepared statement. "This is a short-sighted cash grab that will do more harm to the German economy than any short-term benefit that the tax revenue may bring the country's coffers."
A4A will file a detailed complaint with the German Fiscal Court within the next two months at the same time it urges a referral of the case to the German Federal Constitution Court.
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