City Flexcar Drivers to be Charged Rental-Car Tax
posted by September 6 at 13:13 PMon
This week, FlexCar put its members on notice that, starting October 1, they will have to pay the state-authorized rental car tax on top of the sales tax they already pay. That brings the total tax rate to 18.7 percent.
There are a lot of reasons this is completely unfair, several of which were enumerated in an e-mail to FlexCar members:
As you know, car-sharing provides a valuable alternative to personal car-ownership and fosters increased use of public transportation among local residents. It is also a membership-based organization, making it significantly different in function and structure from traditional car-rental.
The logic behind charging a rental-car tax is this: Rental cars, like hotels, are mostly used by people from out of town—people who don’t vote here and don’t spend their tax dollars locally. Itís a relatively uncontroversial way of funding city services, primarily convention and visitor services.
Carsharing is different. The vast majority of FlexCar members have made the often difficult and inconvenient decision to live without cars. They shouldn’t be penalized for good behavior. Unlike renting, carsharing produces quantifiable benefits. It provides an alternative to car ownership (whereas renting usually just supplements a car the driver already owns), takes cars off the road, reduces congestion, improves the climate, and reduces the total number of vehicle miles traveled in a city. To sign the petition to reinstate the carsharing exemption to the rental tax, go here.