Massachusetts will tax ride-sharing services — 20 cents for each ride — with 25% of the money raised going into a special fund for the taxi industry (according to an article shared by schwit1 ). Reuters reports:
Ride services are not enthusiastic about the fee. “I don’t think we should be in the business of subsidizing potential competitors,” said Kirill Evdakov, the chief executive of Fasten, a ride service that launched in Boston last year and also operates in Austin, Texas. Some taxi owners wanted the law to go further, perhaps banning the start-up competitors unless they meet the requirements taxis do, such as regular vehicle inspection by the police…
The fee may raise millions of dollars a year because Lyft and Uber alone have a combined 2.5 million rides per month in Massachusetts… The 5-cent fee will be collected through the end of 2021. Then the taxi subsidy will disappear and the 20 cents will be split by localities and the state for five years. The whole fee will go away at the end of 2026.
Republican Governor Charlie Baker signed the law, which specifically bans ride-sharing services from passing those costs on to their drivers or riders. And the article notes that Taiwan has also hit Uber with a $6.4 million tax bill, while Seattle has passed a new law allowing ride-sharing drivers to unionize.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.