The Georgia House of Representatives voted in favor of a bill March 3 that would impose a transportation sales tax on ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft, potentially raising prices.
House Bill 225 would require ridesharing passengers to pay a 4 percent sales tax on rides in Georgia and enable cities to collect their own fees. The bill actually didn’t pass the first time it received a vote, but it passed the second time by a margin of 106-60. It now awaits a committee hearing before the state Senate can take its vote.
Supporters of the bill feel that collecting this sales tax will level the playing field for similar services.
“There is already a sales tax on the cabs and limousines,” Rep. Debbie Buckner told the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer. “If we don’t do this, we are setting up a system that is unfair. I am trying to make it fair. We collect from one, we collect from all.”
Opponents, however, have raised concerns that individuals who already struggle with the cost of rides will have their access to transportation limited.
“This tax is wildly out of step with how ridesharing is governed across the United States,” Uber spokeswoman Evangeline George told the Ledger-Enquirer. “As this legislation moves to the Senate, we urge senators to protect the hard-earned money of their constituents and work to create a solution that makes sense for Georgians.”
State Sen. Josh McKoon said he felt that the language of the bill could also affect all digital downloads and open the door to taxation on products and services bought from other apps.