The popular ride sharing company Lyft is suing the city of Las Vegas over a new ride sharing tax. The company which offers rides to customers at a much lower rate than taxis is facing a new tax. This new tax would force the company to increase its rates per mile which would harm their bottom line and possibly scare away potential customers.
Ride sharing companies have sent a jolt into the transportation business in Las Vegas and across the United States. In March, the new tax will go into effect. The council decided in a vote of four to two that each ride sharing driver would be taxed $100 every six months as a fee for being able to operate within the city limits.
Ride sharing companies like Lyft already are asked to pay up to $75,000 for their operating licenses in Clark County which is a huge expense for them. Then. they are responsible for paying an initial fee of up to $500,000 to the Nevada Transportation Authority which is valid for a time period of approximately 24 months.
Affordable riding sharing options such as those offered by Lyft and Uber are vital in Las Vegas. Many people gamble, consume alcohol or engage in other activities that have them out late at night. The ride sharing option allows these individuals to use their phones or tablets to hail safe rides so that they can get to their destinations as safely as possible.
Many people have called this tax an illegal one. Chelsea Wilson who is the spokeswoman for Lyft said that the company is filing a lawsuit because they want to keep the safe and cost effective rides in the city.
AB 176 is the piece of legislature that began this issue. When it was passed in 2015, the measure said that it would not allow there to be excessive fees on ridesharing companies that would in turn reduce the choices that consumers have and lower competition. With this new tax, this does the complete opposite.
The economy in Las Vegas has endured such had times. Once the housing market fell apart a decade ago, many people faced foreclosure and joblessness. Lyft and Uber help people get around without having to pay a lot of money. Saving every cent possible is crucial in a down economy.
Time will tell if the Lyft lawsuit against the city of Las Vegas will be won or lost. Uber and Lyft have disrupted the space and there are bound to be waves as people have to become more accustomed to change in the industry. Hopefully both sides can come together to negotiate a compromise so that consumers do not suffer because of this issue.