ALBANY – The New York Senate approved on Monday its version of legislation that would pave the way for expansion of ride-hailing services statewide – though compromise on legislation among the Senate, Assembly and governor is not yet at hand.
The legislation passed 53-5.
The bill sponsored by Sen. James Seward (R-Otsego County) differs from a proposal pushed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
The Senate bill subjects rides to a 2 percent tax and does not subject them to state sales tax. Cuomo proposes a 5.5 percent tax on rides.
In a media release, Senator Cathy Young (R-Olean) – who voted in favor of the bill – said the Senate’s version includes important public safety provisions, such as criminal and driving history background checks, detailed driver information and trip charges for passengers, and zero-tolerance drug and alcohol policies. Young also said that ride-hailing apps modernize our communities and make upstate more attractive for major concerts and sporting events, further spurring economic activity and job creation.
Assembly legislation has not yet been introduced by the Democratic majority. Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said they will be offering up a proposal in the near future, but hasn’t said if he agrees with the Senate’s plan to lower the tax on ride-hailing services.
Gov. Cuomo made ride-hailing a key point of his state of the state address at the start of the year.