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Scrap the city's tax on passengers [Letter]

Stephanie Rawlings-Blake

First, allow me to correct you regarding your editorial, "Delay the taxi tax" (Nov. 14). This is not a "taxi tax," it is a passenger tax that applies to any operator of taxis, sedans or limos who transports passengers within, into or out of Baltimore City, not just taxicabs. Therefore, this tax applies to Baltimore County cabs as well as Baltimore City cabs. It also applies to any cab anywhere that happens to bring a passenger into Baltimore. How will this tax be enforced when it involves, for example, a cab from Washington bringing a passenger into Baltimore?

Your editorial states that Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake expects the estimated $1.3 million from this tax to be used for various upgrades in the city. It goes on to say that the upgrades will "benefit everyone who lives and works in Baltimore, including its taxi and limo operators." I do not live or work in Baltimore, but our taxicabs do occasionally transport passengers into Baltimore. This tax does nothing to benefit Reisterstown Cab, Inc. It could also wind up hurting Baltimore in that a driver in the county who does not want to pay this tax may try to avoid going into the city when recommending attractions or destinations to a passenger.

As far as calculating the tax, taxicab rates are on a per trip basis, not a per passenger basis. To calculate the number of passengers our fleet carries into Baltimore in a month is nothing but an added burden involving many more hours work for no benefit.

This is a tax that was not well thought out, and it should be eliminated.

Clay Seeley, Owings Mills

The writer is president of Reisterstown Cab, Inc.

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