NBTA Asks Congress To Ban Unfair Ground Transportation Fees

Posted on July 15, 2009 by LCT Staff - Also by this author - About the author

ALEXANDRIA, VA — The National Business Travel Association (NBTA) today urged Congress to amend legislation that would prohibit U.S. transportation terminals from levying unfair fees and taxes on pre-arranged ground transportation services. Changes to the Real Interstate Driver’s Equity (RIDE) Act, passed in 2002, would require airports and other transportation ports to adhere to legislative intent.

NBTA President & CEO, Kevin Maguire said: “Despite Congressional efforts in 2002 to curb local and state government taxes on ground transportation services, some terminals in the United States continue to charge fees to all for-hire vehicles. These fees are forcing out small businesses, curtailing competition and driving up costs for business travelers.

“To remedy this problem, NBTA supports language that would prohibit a transportation terminal using federal funds for infrastructure overhaul from taxing pre-arranged ground transportation services. We urge Congress to re-examine the RIDE Act, thus ensuring the corporate travel community is not unjustly targeted.”

The National Limousine Association has been lobbying for an amendment to the RIDE Act that would do the following:

• Clarifies that states and political subdivisions (including publicly owned airports) cannot charge any fees “with respect to” a vehicle that is providing pre-arranged interstate ground transportation service. This clarification is required because some airports charge a fee for each for-hire vehicle, regardless of whether the vehicle is carrying passengers on an interstate trip. For this reason, the present “on account of” language needs to be revised.

• Adds a new provision prohibiting any transportation terminal (principally airports) that receives federal funding from charging a special fee (other than a fee charged to the general public) for access to or use of the terminal or its facilities by any (interstate or intra-state) provider of pre-arranged ground transportation that is otherwise duly licensed by its “home” state.

• These provisions do not prohibit airports and other transportation terminals from contracting for preferential arrangements, including “close-in” or exclusive on-site concessions, or from providing special lots for limousines and sedans for which the company or driver may voluntarily pay a fee.

The National Business Travel Association is the world’s premier business travel and corporate meetings organization. NBTA and its regional affiliates serve a network of more than 15,000 business travel professionals worldwide with industry events, networking, education and professional development, research, news and information, and advocacy. NBTA members — numbering more than 4,000 in 30 nations — are corporate and government travel and meetings managers, and travel service providers.

For more information, CLICK HERE to visit the NBTA website.

Source: National Business Travel Association/Martin Romjue, LCT Magazine

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