Massachusetts launched a new (modest) fee within the transportation industry with the stated attempt at modernization. But this isn’t that at all. It is a nickel taken for every transaction from one group of companies, and the proceeds will benefit another group of companies — their own competitors.
This new fee is imposed on “transportation network companies, or TNCs, such as Uber, Lyft, and Fasten. When Governor Charlie Baker signed a law earlier this month regulating TNCs, it included a little-discussed component. For every trip, the TNCs will have to contribute a nickel to a new fund to support modernization, training, and improvement of the taxi and livery industry. The 5-cent fee will stay in effect until the final day of 2021.”
Imagine having to involuntarily contribute to a fund whose stated purpose is the very companies/industry with whom you compete! That’s exactly what is happening here. It’s estimated that the nickel fee will generate about $15 million in revenue over the next few years, collected by Mass Development, the state economic development agency.
What’s worse is that there is no actual plan on how the money will be spent support modernize, train, and improve the taxi and livery industry — it’s still up in the air. But since the fee is now a given, this article here gives a wealth of interesting suggestions for the agency; it simultaneously exposes the fact that the Massachusetts bureaucrats are engaging in crony capitalism at its finest. Why is the government in the business of picking winners and losers among businesses?