Local residents look set to be slugged $1 a taxi trip as part of an Uber tax, despite Uber not being available locally.
A bill to radically shake up the taxi and ride sharing industries passed a major hurdle — the state Legislative Council — on Friday night, with the government and crossbenchers reaching agreement with amendments.
Originally the bill would have added an extra $2 to each taxi or Uber fare in the state, to go towards compensation towards the taxi industry and licence holders.
After amendments from Sex Party MP Fiona Patten this was lowered to $1, but other amendments to remove the levy from country Victoria were rejected.
Member for Euroa Steph Ryan said the government wanted to add the tax to the cost of every taxi trip, even though Seymour residents would get no benefit from the legalisation of ridesharing service Uber.
Ms Ryan’s comments come after a parliamentary committee tabled a report last week recommending the Victorian Government reconsider its proposed taxi reform legislation.
The report, tabled in Parliament last week by the Economy and Infrastructure Committee, recommended amendments to the Commercial Passenger Vehicle Industry Bill 2017.
Ms Ryan said this report proved the Uber tax was unfair on country Victorian taxi users.
‘‘Even Daniel Andrews’ own MPs don’t support the proposed bill that unfairly taxes regional and rural people,’’ Ms Ryan said.
‘‘For country people, a tax on taxi trips is a tax on people who can’t take the bus home with the weekly groceries, or travel to and from the doctor’s.
‘‘Labor’s plan will be a huge impost on those who can least afford it, particularly older members in the community and those with disabilities who rely on taxis on a day-to-day basis.’’
The tax is one of 11 that has already been announced or implemented by Mr Andrews, despite the fact that on election eve he promised no new taxes.