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Annapolis Lawmakers Bully Uber Drivers

Written By Jeff Siegel

Posted January 28, 2015

uberrUber users beware!

On Friday, in Annapolis, MD, any Uber driver that hasn’t complied with city code will be fined.

I suspect this is going to put a damper on Uber customers that enjoy the comfort, convenience and cost advantages of this free market solution to an outdated taxicab system.

As well, it’s going to take some money out of the pockets of hard-working Americans that are simply trying to make an honest buck while the government continues to make dishonest bucks.

As reported by WBAL news in Baltimore …

During Monday’s City Council meeting, City Attorney Mike Leahy said that Uber meets the code definition as a taxicab operation under section 7 48 0208 B, which defines a “taxicab” as a motor vehicle for hire that is designed to carry seven or fewer individuals, including the driver; and is used to accept or solicit passengers for transportation for hire between those points along highways in the city as passengers request.

According to 7.48.480 of the Annapolis City Code, no person shall operate any taxicab or vehicle used or solicit or pick up riders for fare in the city unless that person has a valid taxicab driver’s license to operate a taxicab under the provisions of the chapter.

The city will begin enforcement on Jan. 30 and is planning to write warnings before issuing citations.

According to 7.48.480 of the Annapolis City Code? Seriously?

So that means if my neighbor pays me ten bucks to take him to the airport, I could be fined? After all, I don’t have a valid taxicab driver’s license.

And here’s the interesting part. What happens if, when a driver is fined, he or she doesn’t pay that fine? What happens next?

The decline of a regular driver’s license until the fine is paid? A hold on state tax returns? Jail?

This is insane!

Viva Uber!

The city of Annapolis is essentially threatening theft, harassment and possibly violence because a handful of folks are looking for a way to earn a living in a state with some of the most repressive taxes in the nation.

With a 5.75% state income tax, a 6 percent sales tax and property taxes that, on a per capita basis, come to $1,467, the Fiscal Times voted Maryland the tenth worst state for taxes in 2014.

But heaven forbid you try to supplement some income by selling a few rides in your car!

Of course, what many of these lawmakers don’t realize is that even if they screw Uber drivers today, other alternatives are still going to make inroads. The days of shitty cab service offered by an industry that’s never really had to worry much about competition are coming to an end. And I say good riddance!

Viva Uber!

Jeff Siegel Signature

Jeff Siegel
The Libertarian Treehugger