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Finance / Municipal government / Policies / Transportation

DC Council passes ridesharing tax increase

The gross receipts tax increase, which was opposed by Uber and Lyft, will help pay for Metro. One Councilmember is planning another bill in response.

Lyft drivers and riders said the service is an alternative to Metro. (Photo by Chris Barylick)

The D.C. Council gave final passage on Tuesday to a budget measure that would increase taxes on rides from services like Uber and Lyft.

The gross receipts tax increase will rise from 1 percent to 6 percent, amounting to 60 cents on a $10 ride. It was one in a series of tax increases that will help the District pay for its share of a long-term deal to fund Metro, which is $178.5 million.

Mayor Muriel Bowser initially proposed a 4.75-percent increase, but the Council proposal that got first passage in March raised it to the final level. Bowser indicated she would approve the final measure, according to NBC4.

The increase was opposed by Uber and Lyft. The latter held rallies and helped organize a letter-writing campaign.

Councilmember Brandon Todd of Ward 4 wrote on Twitter he was pleased that the Council provided funding for Metro, however, he said, “I would be remiss if I did not mention my disappointment with ridesharing taxes.” He said he was “inundated” with emails on the proposal, and is working on another bill that would separate drivers who accept pooled rides.

“In 2 weeks, I will introduce a bill that eliminates the flat tax on rideshare. DC residents made it clear that they care about this issue & we need to give it the attention it deserves. We should have a hearing & let advocates, stakeholders & residents make their opinions known.” Todd wrote.

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