Philly Schools Losing Money With Ride-Hailing Bill Expired


Harrisburg politicians are costing Philly schools money by letting ride-hailing services lapse back into illegal status. 

When lawmakers passed a three-month patch legalizing "Transportation Network Companies" like Uber X and Lyft during the DNC, one of the political side deals that got that legislation through was a one percent tax on those companies' gross receipts. The revenue mostly goes to the School District, with one-third going to the Parking Authority for the purpose of regulating the TNCs.

With that patch now expired, the state is no longer taxing TNCs, and Philly schools are losing out on much-needed revenue.

Jim Saksa at PlanPhilly got the exact numbers from the Parking Authority:

Uber, doing business as Raiser-PA, LLC, paid $421,365 total with $280,924 going to the District and $140,441 to the PPA.  Lyft paid a total of $114,988, of which $76,659 went to the District and $38,329 to the PPA. Combined, the companies paid $536,353, sending $356,583 to Philadelphia schools and $178,769 to the PPA.

That averages out to Uber paying $5,334 a day in taxes ($3,556 to the School District) and Lyft, $1,456 ($970). Using tax receipts as a metric for market share, Uber controls 78 percent of Philadelphia’s TNC market, and Lyft 22 percent. 

That works out to about $1.7 million a year, which as Saksa points out, is a tiny, tiny fraction of the District's $2.8 billion budget.

Still, all else equal everyone would prefer to see the School District getting more money instead of less money, and if somebody proposed cutting the District's budget by $1.7 million, people would be pretty upset about that.

The state House is expected to vote on the bill on Monday or Tuesday, and the District will forfeit around $35,000 between now and then.

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