The Taxi Council of Queensland is prepared to impose a hefty levy on taxi license holders to fight Uber and other “illegal taxi services” out to win over the governmental review and gain recognition.
In 2015, a unanimous decision from the TCQ votes resulted in the imposition of a $360 per cab each year for the next three years. This is to boost its lobbying powers as claimed by the reports. The council found that there were 3,260 owners of cabs across the state and hence the scheme will boost the revenue up to $3.5 million in the specified time.
TCQ President Max McBride wrote a letter to his members and informed them how the levy would help to overcome the Uber business. “With each licensed owner suffering a substantial paper loss as a result of the devaluation in licenses that is occurring, none of us can afford to not give our all in this fight,” McBride said as quoted by Courier Mail. “This means that the TCQ needs to be adequately funded to give ourselves the best chance of protecting our businesses.”
The Sunshine state saw frequent Uber riders in recent times and this has worried the taxi owners. The frequent use of Uber seems to devaluate the license values for taxis, which used to have a value of more than half a million dollars in 2014. The average taxi license price for taxis in Brisbane had been released in 2014 but post the period, the prices have never been publicised in 2015.
Mark Berry, who has been a taxi driver for a long time, told Fairfax Media that he had to sell his license for $300,000 in April to secure his retirement period as he already turned 59. “I would have been a fully self-funded retiree with health care,” Brisbane Times quoted him as saying. “I didn’t even know what a pension was until 12 months ago. Now when I turn 66 and a half, I’ll be on a full pension for four years until my wife catches up and then we’ll be on a part pension the rest of our lives. And there’ll be thousands of blokes like me.”