Senate panel proposes airline ticket tax hike

WASHINGTON (AP) ? A Democratic-led Senate panel has approved an increase in airline ticket taxes of up to $6 for a round trip in order to cover increased security costs at airports.

The move by the Appropriations homeland security subcommittee would mean that air travelers could pay up to $16 per round trip instead of the present maximum of $10, which is paid by travelers who change planes. For travelers flying nonstop, the fee would be $8 a round trip instead of $5.

Republicans denounced the idea and it could be killed as early as Wednesday when the full Appropriations Committee meets to discuss the underlying spending measure.

The fee increase would raise $280 million next year to cover costs such as new bomb-detection machines.