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Matt Gaetz files Uber preemption bill

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

Fort Walton Beach Republican Matt Gaetz has filed legislation in the Florida House (HB 509) that would put ensure that Transportation Network Companies (TNC) like Uber and Lyft aren’t regulated like taxi companies.

The bill would requires any representative for a TNC to obtain a permit from the state of Florida and pay an annual fee of $5,000.

It would also pre-empt any local government from attempting to regulate such companies.

“A county, municipality, special district, airport authority, port authority or other local governmental entity or subdivision may  not impose a tax on, or require a license for, a company or a driver, or a vehicle used by a driver, if such tax or license relates to providing transportation network company services, or subjects a company to any rate, entry, operation or other requirement of the county, municipality, special district, airport authority, port authority or other local governmental entity or subdivision,” reads one provision.

“Special District” refers to the Hillsborough County Public Transportation Agency, which regulates cabs and other vehicles for hire in Hillsborough County, and has been at war with Uber and Lyft since they began operating in the Tampa Bay area over the past year-and-a-half.

Gaetz’ sponsored similar legislation in the 2015 session that ultimately died when the House convened early.  He initially filed a bill for the 2016 session back in September, before saying that it was premature.

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served as five years as the political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. He also was the assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley. He's a San Francisco native who has now lived in Tampa for 15 years and can be reached at mitch.perry@floridapolitics.com.

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