FILE - Phoenix airport

Terminal 4 at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport

The rideshare company Uber said in a letter to the City of Phoenix that it “will be forced to cease operations” if City Council passes proposed tax increases on rideshares at the city’s airport. 

Uber is the second rideshare company after Lyft to say it would pull services from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport if the proposal passes, potentially leaving riders with fewer options to get to and from the airport. 

“If the Phoenix City Council approves the ground transportation fee structure currently recommended by PHX, Uber will be forced to cease operations at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport effective January 2020,” Uber’s Global Airport Partnerships Manager Chris Garcia wrote to Phoenix Aviation Director James Bennett in a letter last week.

Phoenix City Council will vote on Wednesday over rideshare tax increases for all rides to and from the airport. The plan in consideration would raise rideshare pickup fees at the airport to $4.00 per trip and establish a drop-off trip fee of $4.00 per trip.  

State Rep. Nancy Barto, R-Phoenix, has said the tax increases would be unconstitutional and that she would file a complaint with the Arizona Attorney General’s Office if the plan passes. 

Local governments are barred from imposing or increasing fees for “any service performed in this state,” a constitutional amendment that was approved by voters last year.

The libertarian-leaning Goldwater Institute also sent a letter to the city arguing that the plan would be unlawful, citing the constitutional amendment.

The city says the plan would help pay for transportation infrastructure costs and maintenance for the airport’s Sky Train. 

Uber said in the letter that the plan would mean rideshare users would be footing the bill for 80 percent of funding for the Sky Train. 

“The Airport’s plan unfairly penalizes those who rely on ridesharing to get to or from PHX by asking them to bear a disproportionate share of costs associated with the Sky Train,” the letter said.

Regional Editor

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