FILE - Phoenix Airport Ride Hailing

In this Dec. 18, 2019, file photo passengers find their rides at the Ride Share point as they exit Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix. A new $4 fee on Uber and Lyft rides to and from the Phoenix airport is "very likely" unconstitutional, the state attorney general said Thursday, Jan. 16, 2020, upping the ante in the showdown that has led the ride-hailing giants to threaten to abandon the airport service.

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich said Wednesday that the city of Phoenix’s new airport rideshare tax increases won’t go into effect until the state’s Supreme Court rules if the ordinance is constitutional.

The tax increases on rideshares to and from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport were set to take effect on Feb. 1 after the City Council passed the ordinance in December. 

The city has agreed to stay the ordinance until the Arizona Supreme Court makes a decision, according to a letter from the city’s attorney.

“The City of Phoenix has backed down from enforcing their unconstitutional rideshare fees for now,” Brnovich said in statement Wednesday. “This is a win for consumers but this fight continues at the Arizona Supreme Court. I will always defend the constitutional rights of Arizona voters.”

The city’s decision comes after Uber sent a notice letter to the city on Tuesday saying it would cease operations at the airport on Jan. 31. 

Brnovich on Tuesday requested that the Supreme Court consider the city’s rideshare tax and asked the court to put a stay on the ordinance until a ruling was made in the case. 

Brnovich’s office said last week it believes the city’s rideshare tax was unconstitutional, citing Proposition 126, a constitutional amendment that banned local governments from imposing or increasing fees for “any service performed in this state.”

Regional Editor

Derek Draplin is a regional editor at The Center Square. He previously worked as an opinion producer at Forbes, as an editor at The Daily Caller, and as a reporter at Michigan Capitol Confidential and The Detroit News.