Sam Moini remarks, Budget Committee Jan. 12

Sam Moini, TTA remarks

Budget Committee January 12, 2016

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Good afternoon, and thank you for this opportunity to speak.

  • As Budget Committee members tackle the work of balancing the budget, Toronto’s legal taxi industry would like to highlight some important points.
  • Toronto’s legal taxi industry contributes about $15 million to the City’s bottom line every year, and we are proud to do so. We are part of the City, and we expect to pay our fair share.
  • While the taxi industry is proud of the significant contribution it makes to fund important programs,

Uber pays nothing.

 

  • Every member of the taxi industry pays multiple fees and charges every year. Issuing 532 Toronto Taxi Licenses alone raised $2.6 million dollars from legal cab drivers.
  • Uber pays nothing.
  • Every standard plate owner pays almost $1300 per year to the City to renew their plate. Ambassadors pay close to $800. Every driver pays $338.00
  • Brokerages pay fees; owners pay fees; drivers pay fees. There are fees to go to cab school, and a fee for re-check after an inspection.
  • Uber pays nothing.
  • Since UberX has decimated our industry, many of our drivers have their backs right against the wall. They are struggling to keep their cars on the road; many are not even able to put food on their family’s table.
  • How can Toronto expect legal taxi drivers whose income has been chopped in half to continue paying the same fees they have paid in years past?
  • We cannot pay you with money we do not have.
  • Where has the money gone? To Uber drivers who pay no fees.
  • More importantly, To an illegal bottom line company to which we all know as Uber, which electronically processes every fare it generates in Toronto in the Netherlands, in order to avoid paying taxes in Canada.

 

  • As long as we can earn a living, we have no issue with paying these fees. However, as taxpayers, we expect to see the City enforcing the law, and that is not happening. Uber is being allowed, even encouraged, to destroy the law-abiding taxi industry.

 

 

  • Until there is a fair, just conclusion to this issue, and the laws of this city and country are enforced to its fullest against illegal operations such as uber we are asking city council not to charge any fees to the taxi industry. Though this will not come close to the income taxi drivers have lost it is only the fair thing to do.
  • When this has been resolved, the legal taxi industry will be proud to pay its fair share.
  •       How can a city as great as Toronto, witness the destruction of the legal taxi industry by an illegal company who flaunts all laws and regulations for its own benefit?
  • Is this the kind of City we wish to build?
  •     There is a direct link between Budget deliberations in January and Uber considerations in February. The legal taxi industry is trying to survive asking you to keep that in mind as you work.
  • Thank you.