Since the 2004 fare raise, garages have raised our leases and watched our incomes plummet while their medallion is now valued at $1 million dollars. When gas prices soared, they did nothing to share the burden. When the MTA tax cut our tips and smaller trips, they did nothing to share the burden. When credit card fares started taking over and cutting our incomes, they gladly took the 5% surcharge.
Now, after the TLC actually did the right thing and said the lease cap includes all taxes, fees and surcharges, including the sales tax - they paid millions of dollars to sue us in state court for $4.77 per shift. They have million dollar lawyers, million dollar lobbyists, but can't spare a lousy $4.77 from us. For drivers, it's a loss of 5% in their income when there is hardly anything left to lose.
STAND UP & FIGHT BACK. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.
The New York State Court of Appeals made a devastating ruling on Thursday, December 15th, stating that garages can charge us sales tax (now at $4.77 per shift) above the TLC's lease caps. The garages, represented by Midtown Garage Owner Ron Sherman and his Metropolitan Taxicab Board of Trade (MTBOT), sued the city when the TLC passed a rule banning them from the pass-along in 2009. They lost. The TLC would have to redo their rulemaking process in order to change this.
Please know that the court did not say that the TLC does not have the power to stop the garages. The court only said that the TLC has to follow a different rulemaking process than they did. The TLC has the power. And we will organize to make them use it. The garages don't have to add the tax above the lease cap. They arechoosing to charge us more. Garages did not even wait 24 hours. They started charging immediately, even to day drivers who were mid-shift when the ruling came out.