– This week, the House unanimously passed legislation, sponsored by Rep. Robert Godshall (R-Montgomery), which would change the way the Philadelphia Parking Authority (PPA) assesses limousine operators in Philadelphia and at Philadelphia International Airport by bringing them under the same assessment structure as all other ride services in the city.
Assessments are used to cover the costs of regulating and enforcing laws pertaining to transportation services. House Bill 2473
would change the PPA’s assessment on certificated limousine operators from a per-vehicle charge to a percentage of a limousine operator’s gross revenues. All taxis, transportation network companies (TNCs) and limousines operating outside of Philadelphia already pay a regulatory assessment based on their gross revenues.
“My legislation would ensure all ground transportation operators are assessed equally, ensuring a fair and predictable assessment process for all taxis, TNCs and limousines operating within the Commonwealth,” said Godshall.
The bill also requires the PPA to maintain separate accounts for the regulation of taxicabs and limousines. Separate accounts would serve to increase transparency and help ensure the regulatory funds of one entity are not comingled or used for the regulation of the other.
In recent audits of the PPA, Auditor General Eugene DePasquale identified more than $77.9 million in potential lost revenue to the School District of Philadelphia between 2012 and 2017. This, and assertions by the PPA that its taxi, limousine and TNC regulatory budgets, are insufficient to safeguard the riding public properly, prompted Godshall to insert language in his bill that would require the auditor general to investigate.
His bill would require the auditor general to audit the Philadelphia Taxicab and Limousine Regulatory Fund from fiscal years 2014-15 through 2016-17 and to report its findings to the legislative oversight committees in both the House and Senate. These audits would determine if the fund was used inappropriately and if regulatory authority over limousines should be transferred from the PPA to the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC).
House Bill 2473 now goes to the state Senate for consideration.
Representative Bob Godshall
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Donna Pinkham