Limousine and taxi service operators are asking Edmonton city council to cut them a break on fees as their industry faces challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Several operators addressed city councillors on Wednesday to reiterate concerns they have been raising for months: that the fees on top of an already challenging situation could force some of them to shut down.
“We’re not asking the taxpayer to fund our businesses,” said Sylvain Vezina of Protocol Limousines.
“We’re trying to say that we paid [into] that fund and it should be used for rainy days. And trust me, right now, it’s pouring.”
Watch below: (From Sept. 6, 2020) Edmonton limousine companies say while COVID-19 has devastated the industry, a situation with fees involving the City of Edmonton is making their problems worse. Fletcher Kent reports.
Operators want to see dispatch and licensing fees suspended for the remainder of 2020. Some city councillors have indicated they are sympathetic to the businesses’ dilemma for that 100 per cent cut. City administration recommends a 50 per cent reduction in fees.
Fees paid by such services have produced a $2.2-million reserve that some operators say should be used to help them get through the pandemic.
Dispatch and licensing fees are meant to pay for industry enforcement and to promote growth in the number of accessible vehicles.
City council is expected to make a decision on the fees next week.
–With files from Global News’ Vinesh Pratap
© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
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