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Uber Regulated
Massachusetts Will Subsidize Taxis By Taxing Uber

Massachusetts is planning one of the most blatantly blue model policies we’ve seen in some time. Reuters has the story:

Massachusetts is preparing to levy a 5-cent fee per trip on ride-hailing apps such as Uber and Lyft and spend the money on the traditional taxi industry, a subsidy that appears to be the first of its kind in the United States.

Republican Governor Charlie Baker signed the nickel fee into law this month as part of a sweeping package of regulations for the industry.

Ride services are not enthusiastic about the fee.

We’d imagine they aren’t. But the thing is: riders shouldn’t be enthusiastic either. This benefits the taxi industry and no one else. Moreover, riders won’t even know the fee is being assessed because the law doesn’t allow Uber and Lyft to show it on the invoice—a sneaky way to keep the political backlash to a minimum.

Reuters reports that some taxi drivers were hoping the Massachusetts law would go farther and put ride-hailing apps out of business, but that’s unlikely to occur because the move would be so unpopular. As we pointed out last week when Uber announced the imminent launch of its driverless vehicles, the more cost pressures governments put on companies like Uber, the faster those companies will try to cut expenses by doing things like eliminating altogether the need for drivers. And if Uber is successful at eliminating drivers, the cost savings will make it impossible for traditional taxi services to compete.

Thus do the defenders of the blue model eat their own.

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  • JR

    Have they tried taxing Uber and Lyft and confiscatory rat… sorry, what’s this? Latest orders from MinTruth? Got it….
    Have they tried taxing Uber and Lyft at progressive tax rates and then subsidizing the taxi industry a little bit and keeping the rest for the greater social good? That’s my proposal.

  • Boritz

    The country is languishing under the burden of unbridled capitalism. At least that continues to be the party line.

  • ojfl

    Brilliant…

  • Attila_the_hun

    what else you expect from @Nevertrump RINO Baker?

  • Eric Simpson

    Why not subsidize Ubers by taxing Taxis?

    After all, it’s called a TAXi, not an UBERi.

  • uber=evil empire

    They don’t pay workers comp, payroll taxes, or any taxes on the billions of dollars that they make. Plus they don’t pay any benefits either. They have millions of drivers/employees and they provide nothing while they hide behind the independent contractor label. Obamas campaign former manager is their spokesperson. What does that tell ya? Who says that 5 penny tax goes to cab drivers? That is not anything I have heard. They are the most corrupt company on the planet.

    • Tom

      So, are you a taxi driver?

    • Eric Simpson

      The problem is that taxi rides cost a small fortune.

      The benefits of the subsidized earning of a small number of taxi drivers pale in comparison to the benefits of cheap, perhaps virtually free, transportation for all. Sure, Uber doesn’t pay certain taxes, but think about the cheap transportation for all that will yield huge savings. The lefties are trying to sabotage that.

    • LarryD

      I don’t know about Mass., but in NYC, taxis are a cartel, enforced by the city government through its medallions. Which cost a bundle, so the city gets its cut of the action up front.

    • Andrew Allison

      And yet they seem to have no difficulty in attracting drivers. Could it be that there are people who find Uber preferable to other forms of employment? Off with their heads.

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