The TSA is making big bucks by pocketing your spare change

April 7, 2015, 2:46 PM UTC
Photograph by Bloomberg/Getty Images

The Transportation Security Administration collected $675,000 in loose change last year, the agency said Monday.

That money was left behind by travelers who forget to pick it up after going through airport security. CNN reported that although the $675,000 sum is a “modest jump from last year’s haul of $638,143,” it’s a 78% increase from the $383,414 figure picked up in 2008.

What happens to all those nickels and dimes? Back in 2005, Congress gave the TSA authority to use the money to help fund its security operations.

The TSA has a $4.6 billion budget in fiscal year 2015, according to the House Appropriations Committee. That’s a $300 million decrease from fiscal year 2014. A Department of Homeland Security funding bill also reduced the cap of “full-time screening personnel to 45,000 screeners, supporting TSA’s shift to more risk-based screening,” the Appropriations Committee said.