Airline passengers won't get another shot at tax-free travel for a few more months.
Even if you didn't have to catch a flight back in late July and early August, you probably remember the transportation funding meltdown. It led to a halt in the collection of air travel taxes, as well as suspension of airport construction projects and the furlough of thousands of Federal Aviation Administration employees.
Congress approved a short-term, retroactive FAA funding bill on Aug. 5. That stop-gap measure was set to expire tonight.
There was some concern that partisan bickering over federal fuel taxes might mean a roadway repeat of the summer airport mess.
But after just a bit more political skirmishing, the House and Senate this week approved the Surface and Air Transportation Programs Extension Act of 2011.
This funding measure also is temporary, but it does provide enough money for the FAA to do its job through January 2012 and for Transportation Department highway improvement projects to continue through next March.
In addition to OK'ing the collection of airline ticket taxes, the federal gasoline and diesel taxes will remain a part of the price that drivers pay at the pump. The automotive fuel taxes would have expired on Oct. 1.
President Obama signed the short-term funding bill into law this afternoon.
Happy, and taxable, travels everyone.
You also might find these items of interest: