Uber
Photo: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Photo: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Georgia House passes 50-cent ride-for-hire fee

The Georgia House of Representatives approved a new fee Thursday on rides for hire, and required the money be spent on mass transit.

Under House Bill 105, the state would impose a 50-cent fee on Uber, Lyft, taxi and limousine rides beginning April 1. The fee for shared rides would be 25 cents.

The bill, passed on a 150-7 vote, also includes a state income tax exemption on disaster relief aid for farmers.

HB 105 has already passed the Senate. But on Thursday the House amended the measure to require that the money generated from the new fee – up to $40 million annually, by some estimates – to be dedicated to public transportation.

State Rep. Sam Watson, the bill's sponsor, said ride sharing companies would have had to pay the second-highest taxes in the country since House Bill 276 passed last month, calling for the collection of sales taxes from customers of internet-based and app-based businesses.

The 50-cent-per-ride fee was a compromise to avoid imposing the sales tax on ride share companies.

“Currently they're not paying any tax,” said Watson, a Republican from Moultrie.

The amended bill now returns to the state Senate for a final vote.

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