DC proposes ride hailing tax of 6%: It's not enough--car share users pay 10%
The Washington Post reports that DC ("D.C. Council would hike tax on Uber and Lyft more than Mayor Bowser"), like other cities are considering or have instituted ("Council Passes Ride-Share Tax to Fund Transit, CTA Announces $23M in Cuts, Reforms," Streetsblog Chicago; "Uber, Lyft taxi rides into Manhattan get slapped with a new surcharge," The Drive) a tax on ride hailing.
DC charges a "gross receipts tax" of 1% on these services now. This is not a per trip tax. The Mayor proposed a raise to 4.75%, while the City Council is aiming for a 6% tax.
It's reasonable to regulate and tax to shape more desirable outcomes. Ride hailing imposes costs on transit by capturing riders, and also increases traffic congestion.
-- "When Calling an Uber Can Pay Off for Cities and States," New York Times
-- "The false promise of ride hailing as a pro-city transportation mode," 2018
-- "Public fees/taxes/charges on ride hailing trips," 2018
As new mobility services come into play, taxation and regulation may vary compared to legacy services, often in ways that are seemingly less fair to users of the new modes.
DC imposes higher taxes on car share users. For example, as a car share user in DC, it seems unfair that each trip comes with a 10% local tax charge when we are already paying a good chunk of the minute or hourly use fees indirectly to the city for licensing and access to street parking.
By comparison, DC car owners pay a minimal annual registration fee (from $72 to $155, depending on the weight of the car) and if they live in an area of the city requiring residential parking permits, a $35/year fee.
-- "Car share users are getting abused by the cities that ostensibly support car sharing as a form of sustainable mobility," 2016
Considering the impact of ride hailing services on transit and congestion, of course the rides should be taxed. And they shouldn't be taxed at a rate less than what car share users are forced to pay, when research shows that each car in a car sharing system ends up "removing" 7 to 11 cars, thereby reducing demand on parking inventory, rather than increasing demand for road space, like ride hailing.