Taxi, Uber users slugged with $1 levy from February 1

TAXI, hire car and ride-share passengers across NSW may be slapped with an extra one dollar fee on their journeys because of a government-imposed tax on service providers.

The passenger service levy, in effect from February 1, will mean taxi, hire car and ride-share companies will need to pay a levy of $1 per trip to help fund the NSW government’s industry assistance package of up to $250 million. It will be up to the service provider to either absorb the levy or pass it on to customers.


“This is, in essence, a charge on operators and not being funded through taxpayer dollars that are better spent on running the state’s hospitals and schools,” NSW Transport Minister Andrew Constance told AAP in a statement on Tuesday.

The levy, which will be in place for up to five years, aims to help taxi licence owners impacted by the industry which has been transformed by the rise of ride-sharing platforms such as Uber.

“Labor don’t care about the thousands of mums and dads, war widows, and retirees who invested their livelihoods in taxi plates and deserve assistance as a result of the point to point transport reform,” Mr Constance said.

But, the tax hasn’t been welcomed by all industry operators.

“The $1 levy is a temporary measure and it is disappointing to see companies like Uber, who are the main beneficiaries of the reforms to the point to point industry, campaign against fair assistance for people who have invested in taxi plates,” Mr Constance said.


But an Uber Australia spokesman said since the government’s ride-sharing reforms were introduced in 2015, taxi licence values had increased and demand for taxis had remained stable.

 “The reforms have grown the pie for the whole industry and demand for taxis has remained stable and licence values have rebounded,” the spokesman told AAP on Tuesday.

“We are puzzled as to why the NSW government is still taxing the travelling public to give the taxi industry a bailout that the data shows they don’t need.”

The Daily Telegraph