The Nation: Paying for Philadelphia

Almost breaking even on its $200 million investment in the Philadelphia International Airport and the North Philadelphia Airport, the city last spring was planning a $250 million expansion of the terminals by 1975. Mayor Frank Rizzo did not think that the financial burden should fall on blue-collar and other less-moneyed Philadelphians who hardly ever take a plane anyway. The city hit on the idea of imposing a $2-per-passenger charge for anyone flying into or out of Philadelphia.

Last week a court ruled that the $2 charge is unconstitutional because it represents unreasonable interference with interstate commerce. Philadelphia is left with the task...