American Airlines concerned about potential sales tax increase

by: Jenna Deery Updated:

American Airlines and US Airways jets prepare for flight at gate at the Philadelphia International Airport, Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013, in Philadelphia. The merger of US Airways and American Airlines has given birth to a mega airline with more passengers than any other in the world. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - American Airlines may be the first big business in Charlotte to voice concerns about the impact of a quarter-penny sales tax increase.

An airline lobbyist told county leaders, the airline opposes the proposal because it could mean a half-million dollar hit on jet fuel purchases.

Commissioners also mentioned the lobbyist may be taking concerns to state lawmakers, because they hold the power to take the proposal off the ballot. The state can also cap taxes airlines have to pay.

Mecklenburg County, Rep. Charles Jeter said, "American Airlines is the single most important economic driver in the Charlotte Region and the state as a whole. We would be shortchanging our citizens if we didn't listen to AA's concerns and suggestions."

A potential sales tax increase is also raising concerns of pushing dollars out of the county. AA is the largest airline fuel purchaser and it has made moves in other states to avoid paying higher taxes.

It is unclear if AA wants the tax increase off the ballot completely or just wants a special exemption.

Channel 9 will continue to uncover the concerns of American Airlines about the sales tax.