The potential passenger tax on Budapest flights has been in the news for months. From complaints by Ryanair to passengers’ concerns, the tax currently faces plenty of criticism. But there are also plenty of supporters.
Explore this passenger tax in detail, as well as how it will affect you.
The Passenger Fee
The tax in question is officially called the passenger fee. The 18th district of Budapest developed this tax as a way to improve its budget.
The local council made a decision regarding this tax in early December. This tax applies to those departing from or arriving at the Budapest airport, the country’s largest international airport.
The tax per passenger is HUF 1,000 or EUR 2.5. This is a small tax on each passenger, but it will add up to billions of forints that the municipal budget receives. The council plans to use the funds to renew the main roads in Budapest.
The local council decided to implement the tax by getting it from ground-handling companies. As such, passengers will see it as an additional tax on the cost of their flights.
It May Not Be Implemented
The passenger tax has not yet gone into effect, and it faces harsh criticism from many. This includes opposition from both ground-handling companies and airlines. Attila Farkas, the Smartwings CEO, said that the airlines, Budapest Airport, and ground handling companies plan to collectively fight the tax.
According to Farkas, the group believes that the new tax and the new Budapest governmental office are illegal. The opponents to the tax also argue that implementing it would be near impossible and that it would be double taxation, as there is already a departure tax.
This group of opponents to the tax has called for scrapping the decree.
We Have to Wait to See
The district behind the new passenger tax did not react to criticism in the way opponents hoped it would. Ferenc Szaniszló began a social media campaign to promote the tax.
For now, the future of the tax is unclear. The municipal council can annul its decree within 30 days. If they do not annul it, then it can go to the Supreme Court.
The uncertainty of this tax is clear in the fact that it is not included in the 2023 budget.
The 18th district of Budapest announced a passenger fee on all flights into or out of the airport. This fee would amount to EUR 2.5 per passenger. However, it is not yet clear whether it will be implemented. Opponents may still take the tax to the Supreme Court due to concerns of double taxation and the tax being illegal.
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