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Businesses Government The Almighty Buck Transportation

Brazil's Biggest City Wants To Charge Fees For Uber Rides (engadget.com) 77

An anonymous reader sends word that Sao Paulo's city hall has proposed levying fees on Uber to operate in the city. Engadget reports: "Many cities try to limit or ban ridesharing services like Uber, but Sao Paulo is trying an uncommon strategy to keep the companies in check: skimming a little off the top. The major Brazilian city has proposed a requirement these services have to buy government credits to cover their distance traveled, with rates changing based on when and where the trip takes place. App makers would also have to support a service that picks up multiple passengers headed in the same direction, although that won't be hard when options like UberPool already exist."
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Brazil's Biggest City Wants To Charge Fees For Uber Rides

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  • And if Uber doesn't pay the fees, jail the executives.

    • by amiga3D ( 567632 ) on Tuesday December 29, 2015 @07:00PM (#51205699)

      They tax everyone else, why should Uber get a free ride?

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by vivian ( 156520 )

        The Uber drivers are already paying registration fees, and fuel taxes, which are proportional to mileage, not to mention income tax just like everyone else on the revenue they earn - and that revenue is 100% trackable because it's all electronic - unlike cash - so there's no tax dodging, which can happen with directly negotiated taxi rides. (eg. I'll give you $30 bucks to take me down town - no meter)

        In addition Uber (and taxis) helps support the entertainment and tourism industry - the main reason to get

        • by Anonymous Coward

          In addition Uber (and taxis) helps support the entertainment and tourism industry

          And every company helps support the economy at large.

          No more corporate taxes for anyone, woooooooo.

        • by Mitreya ( 579078 )

          The Uber drivers are already paying registration fees, and fuel taxes, which are proportional to mileage

          The Uber riders already pay a "safe rides" fee and, in Chicago, a "Chicago" fee and an "Airport or Navy Pier destination" fee, the latter one being $5.
          I think taxes will be levied until the price is the same for both cabs and Uber rides. Airport cost (Chicago downtown to Midway airport) went from ~$18 to ~$25 in the last few months.

    • and the cost of uber goes up to cover the fees. so who wins?
  • by pushing-robot ( 1037830 ) on Tuesday December 29, 2015 @07:03PM (#51205707)

    Many cities try to limit or ban ridesharing services like Uber, but Sao Paulo is trying an uncommon strategy to keep the companies in check: skimming a little off the top.

    If you think that's uncommon, you must not know any governments.

    • Re:That word... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by rmdingler ( 1955220 ) on Tuesday December 29, 2015 @07:51PM (#51205931) Journal
      Legalization of a thing previously deemed unsavory or immoral is made proportionately more likely by the ability it has to fill government coffers.
    • If you think that's uncommon, you must not know any governments.

      Or especially Brazil. World Cup, Olympics, they are pretty much the world poster child for corruption now. They're fighting with Greece for the top spot.

      • i don't think of greece when i think corruption, i think of sub-saharan africa and indonesia/india. when i think of greece i think "greed and incompetence"

  • ... which is to tax everything, spend the money, and whatever problem we had will magically go away.

    Thanks to "it's a problem? tax it!" mentality, we have eliminated the use of fossil fuels, tobacco, alcohol, and guns. Right?

  • Sharing? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 29, 2015 @07:07PM (#51205729)

    ridesharing services like Uber

    What's being shared exactly? There is no sharing. People pay money for the services rendered by taxi companies like Uber.

  • So basically the city wants something like the medallion system, but one that benefits them directly instead of making it a piece of property to be traded.
    • by dbIII ( 701233 )
      Initially a medallion system is a source of funds to a government, just not initially at as high a price as they get when demand vastly outstrips supply. When the price is high that's a sign that the people with the granted right to run taxis are using the government to keep out competition by having a high cost of entry - so broken by a few definitions, especially if those who are the only players in the closed market don't bother to supply at certain times and places.
      It's an very old sort of system of mo
      • Right.. the price of medallions skyrocket because they're attached to something real... the capacity of the streets to bear additional cars. They reflect not only the cost of wear and tear, but the inconvenience other drivers must face due to traffic congestion. Before the medallions people couldn't even drive up to hotels because they were crowded by taxis. So because roads don't have unlimited capacity, something has to give. Personally I would rather taxi's pay exorbitant prices then have myself forc
  • Incidentally, what's the difference between a tax and a fee?

    • Incidentally, what's the difference between a tax and a fee?

      Essentially, the former scores better in Scrabble.

      New Hampshire has no sales tax nor income tax, Texas has no income tax, and gawd help folks who live in Taxachusetts.

      But. They all have a pretty good idea how much dinero they need to run the State of things next year, and they get it from the same folks, year after year.

      The rest is just semantics.

  • Paulistano here. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    The guy is supposedly a left-wing one (from the Laborers' Party - "PT"). He's young and has been doing an unconventional government -- he installed a lot of bike lanes (ciclovias) in an attempt to make people use bikes, but we lack the culture to use them these days and São Paulo has a harsh relief -- in some places it could be negotiated with an electric bike, but these are costly and too irresistible for thieves.

    All in all, I don't think he's the worse we had, but some people simply hate his party fo

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Unfortunatelly things here in Brazil are not decided by logic, but by whoever pay higher bribes to politicians. In my city, Belo Horizonte (a big capital), there's a law project which completely bans apps like Uber. It has been approved and our hope now is that the ultra-corrupt mayor vetoes it. What's worrying about São Paulo's project will be the tax rate, since everything here is overtaxed. For example, while the crude oil barrel has dropped from US$ 100,00 to 40,00 in two years, the gas price has d

  • by dbIII ( 701233 ) on Wednesday December 30, 2015 @12:31AM (#51206949)
    One very creepy business practice of Uber is to use the word "ridesharing" to pretend it is casual hitch-hiking of people already going in a direction instead of the taxi service done as piecework that it really is. There are political reasons for this falsehood to evade laws and fees, perhaps unjust laws and fees, but even if they are that is no reason for us to pretend that they are "ridesharing" instead of how it actually operates. Why should we be propagating PR bullshit instead of discussing it in terms of reality? It's like calling a mail order scam a religion.
    • Why should we be propagating PR bullshit instead of discussing it in terms of reality?

      You mean like when we talk about Taxi Medallion (or other tracking or allotment) systems as if they do any of the things they claim to do?

      Uber and Lyft have to call themselves ridesharing services because the state calls hiring a car something which it has complete control over, which it abuses. It is unreasonable to place additional restrictions on car use when it is done for money. If it is not safe to drive someone for money, it is not safe to drive someone for free. People who drive more miles already h

      • You mean like when we talk about Taxi Medallion

        Obviously not, there's nothing at all about that in the above post.
        Who taught you that bad habit of using "You mean like" to put words in other people's mouths?

    • Calling Uber a "taxi" service is just as wrong as calling it "ridesharing" (OK, maybe a little less wrong, but still very wrong). The more correct term for Uber would be a "chauffeur" service.

  • "City Government in South American Country Wants a Piece of The Action"? So they're saying everything is working as usual in Brazil?

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