BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Baltimore City lost out on at least $2.1 million from rideshare companies Uber and Lyft the past few years, after failing to collect on a 25-cent tax.
“It’s a complex issue. It requires the city working very closely with the state and with industry to make it work.” said Baltimore City Councilman Eric Costello (D-District 1).READ MORE: Young People Clean Up Behind Area In Baltimore Plagued By Illegal Dumping
The city’s legislation did not align with state law, so while Uber was collecting the 25-cent surcharge, they never paid the state comptroller.
“The fact that Baltimore City didn’t do what it needed to do locally to actually begin collecting the tax is just kind of crazy. We’re leaving money on the table that we initiated the ask for.” said Baltimore City Councilman Ryan Dorsey (D-District 3).
Councilman Dorsey said he’s pushed previous mayoral administrations to rectify the issue, but to no avail.
Last week, Uber began crediting passengers.READ MORE: Christmas Village Returns To Inner Harbor With Grand Opening Saturday
“The action we took today resolves the issues the operator brought up which will enable us to collect the tax moving forward.” Councilman Costello said.
Part of the reason the city says it needs the income is the decline in parking revenues. From sources like city-owned garages and parking meters, the city’s seen a decline in those sources over $4 million the past three years.
Part of the reason the city said it needs the income is the decline in parking revenues. From sources like city-owned garages and parking meters, the city’s seen a decline in those sources- over $4 million in the past three years.
Given that decline, Thursday’s bill passed committee. Baltimore City is exempt from a state law that caps it at 25-cents, so the city wants to charge 50 cents per ride.
It will be up to the council next week on exactly what they want to change.MORE NEWS: State, Anne Arundel Leaders Tour Annapolis For Small Business Saturday
Rides originating in several jurisdictions already charge this tax, including Brunswick, Frederick, Ocean City, and Annapolis, as well as Montgomery and Prince George’s County.