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NEW: Taxi Owners Outraged by Proposed Taxi Tax

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

 

The Taxi Owners Association of Rhode Island today expressed their outrage and dismay at a proposal to tax their small and struggling industry with punitive and destructive new sales taxes. This reaction comes in response to a proposal by the House Finance committee revealed in the late hours of the night of May 31st to retain provisions applying the state sales tax to cab drivers, as originally proposed in the Governor’s 2012 budget. Previous discussions with the administration had led the cab owners to believe that this punitive and unworkable proposal would not see the light of day, but apparently that was not the case.

“This proposal attempts to force a hundred or so cab license holders to fill a half million dollar budget hole,” said Greg Manning, President of the Taxi Owners Association. “How can a cabbie earning $20,000 or $25,000 per year be expected to shoulder over $1,200 in new taxes,” asked Manning?

Because of the many alternatives available to consumers if cab fares increase, and because of the slow economy and severe reductions in business travel, Rhode Island cab drivers have not seen a fare increase in over a decade. Rates are highly regulated and set by the state, and many drivers have been afraid to ask for higher rates because of the impact it would have as customers are driven away and choose less costly options.

The Taxi Owners Association of Rhode Island also released a fact sheet today entitled “Vote NO on the Taxi Tax!,” advocating for deletion of that section of Budget Article (21) Section (4) which contains the tax hike.

The fact sheet provides details regarding the state of the industry, the severe technical problems with the legislative proposal, and the unlikely prospects for actually collecting the anticipated revenue.

“They are putting a huge burden on a handful of the lowest income earners in the state,” continued Manning.” “Cab drivers work long hours at one of the most dangerous jobs around and the pay is modest on a good day.” “The whole thing makes no sense” concluded Manning; “how is this in any way a good idea?”

 

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