Proposal to keep NSW rideshare tax to 2030

November 07, 2022 03:16 PM AEDT | By AAPNEWS
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NSW rideshare and taxi passengers will face higher charges on every trip until 2030 to compensate and appease taxi owners.

But the revamped deal to increase the passenger service charge to $1.20 could be scuppered if the taxi council doesn't respond to government by Tuesday.

Licence owners had been underwhelmed with changes to the levy scheme in September that allowed them to claim $100,000 for each Sydney number plate and $130,000 per licence outside the capital.

Under the revamped scheme announced on Monday, compensation for Sydney taxi plates will be $150,000 and between $40,000 and $195,000 will be doled out for regional plate holders.

This means the cost of the passenger service levy scheme will rise to $905 million, up from the earlier $645 million package.

For passengers, it means they'll pay an extra 20 cents per trip, and pay the levy beyond the original end date of June 2029.

With a 10-per-cent GST charge on top, the levy's true cost will be $1.32 per trip.

Transport Minister David Elliott urged the taxi industry to support the "generous package" so owners could receive the compensation as soon as possible.

If they didn't respond by Tuesday, he threatened to terminate the deal.

"I've always sought to ensure families who paid out their hard-earned cash were not left with the burden of debt through no fault of their own," Mr Elliott said on Monday.

"I sincerely hope this eases the financial burden on our cabbies as they manage the transition in point-to-point services."

Should the final package not be accepted, legislation will not be introduced and a review will then be needed to assess a compensation package, the government warns.'

Labor provided provisional support, saying the package appeared reasonable.

"At the end of the day, we want that compensation flowing particularly for taxi fleet owners that have been waiting a very long time for any sort of compensation," Opposition leader Chris Minns said.

Uber said it was disappointed the government had extended and increased "this tax on consumers" in NSW, well beyond the original five-year scheme announced in 2018.

"This is a frustrating outcome for consumers, and effectively codifies a tax on all point-to-point transport in NSW," an Uber spokeswoman said.

"We will continue to lobby the NSW government to provide certainty to consumers on how much they will continue to pay and to legislate an end date for this levy."

The NSW Taxi Council and other rideshare providers have been contacted for comment.

Sydney taxi licences were selling for $220,000 in December 2015 but now fetch about $30,000 each.

In the past year, a Tamworth plate sold for $150,000 while a licence in Picton went for $5000.


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