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Taxis Push New Fee In Regional Transit Bill To Catch Up With Uber And Lyft

In separate statements, Uber and Lyft didn’t take a stance on the proposed fee. Instead, the two companies talked about how ride-hailing services complement transit.
In separate statements, Uber and Lyft didn’t take a stance on the proposed fee. Instead, the two companies talked about how ride-hailing services complement transit.
Credit Richard Vogel / Associated Press File

Taxi and ride-hailing companies may face a new $.50 tax per trip, under a regional transit bill in the Georgia legislature. And some in the industry are supportive.

The bill in the Georgia House from Rep. Kevin Tanner would create the new fee to help fund a regional transit system.

Taxi and limousine welcome the fee because it would replace a sales tax that they say is unfair. While many of their companies pay the 9 percent sales tax, their competitors — Uber and Lyft — don’t.

Jeff Greene of Greene Worldwide Transportation, a limo service, said the $.50 charge outlined in the transit bill applies to everyone.

“This way, with the fee, at least it will kind of level the playing field,” Greene said.

In separate statements, Uber and Lyft didn’t take a stance on the proposed fee. Instead, the two companies talked about how ride-hailing services complement transit.

Both said they looked forward to continue working with state lawmakers on the legislation.

The Georgia Department of Revenue maintains that all transportation services are subject to sales tax, including ride-hailing services.

But the Georgia Legislature has signaled otherwise. A bill from last year aimed to levy a sales tax on Uber Lyft while recognizing that they were currently exempt. That legislation failed.

This session’s regional transit bill from Tanner also would impose a new sales tax at the airport. That’s raised questions from state lawmakers in Atlanta about the impact on Hartsfield-Jackson.

Tanner’s bill is one of two in the general assembly. Another from Sen. Brandon Beach is pending in the Georgia Senate.