Airport commissioners voted 6-0 this week to add a $10 surcharge to every car rental at Los Angeles International Airport, the Daily Breeze (Torrance, Calif.) reports.
The consolidated facility charge (CFC) will help pay for the initial design and reviews of a new building to house all of the main rental-car agencies, part of a long-standing effort to reduce traffic and air pollution in the area.
The facility, which would cost an estimated $800 million to build, would eliminate the need for each agency to operate its own fleet of shuttle buses, reducing trips and the amount of shuttle-bus exhaust in the air. The proposed car-rental center would replace a vast parking lot near LAX and would bring together some 26,000 spaces and rental offices.
The rental companies have opposed the fee, saying it's premature to charge their customers for a project that hasn't yet been designed. "Rental car companies have not asked for this facility to be built," Joe Knight, vice president of Business Development for Fox Rent a Car, told Auto Rental News.
Most rental car companies are already on their own property, and the present plans do not take into account maintenance facilities, which would require additional space, says Knight.
Officials from The Hertz Corp. described the extra charge as illegal, according to the Daily Breeze. At issue is whether a CFC can be collected without more definitive plans to demonstrate that the facility will in fact be built.
At the urging of the rental companies, the airport commission put a sunset clause on the CFC after two years. To continue the collection of the CFC, the airport commission will reevaluate the design plans and cost estimates at that time.
Car renters could begin seeing the extra charge as early as May.