Opinion

Obamacare tax stiffing New York cabbies

Yellow_Cabs_in_New_York

New York City cab drivers are hopping mad. They’re being saddled with a six cent per fare tax that they thought was to pay for health coverage under the Affordable Care Act. But instead it’s going to pay for Obamacare tutorials.

Welcome to the Obamacare tax nation.

U.S. Rep. Jeff Duncan, R-S.C., lists some 20 new or higher taxes that will supposedly pay for the Affordable Care Act. That doesn’t count the $716 billion it takes from the already under-financed Medicare program the Washington Post reported. That doesn’t count the excessive premiums, co-pays and deductibles policyholders are expected to pay.

Now if you’re a cab driver working in New York City, you’re expected to give a bit more, according to the New York Post.

“Nobody’s happy about it,” veteran yellow-cab driver Charbel Sfeir said to the Post. “It’s not fair. The money’s going to go to paperwork for ObamaCare. I don’t need to pay them do to paperwork.”

The Post reported:

The hack tax, mandated by the city Taxi and Limousine Commission, went into effect Oct. 1 and requires that drivers pay for “disability insurance and health-care navigation services.”

The TLC has placed the Taxi Workers Alliance, a drivers union, in charge of administering the fund, and a final contract is being hammered out.

“This is a good thing,” said Bhairavi Desai, the cab union’s executive director. “This is going to give services to a population that’s been exploited.”

The hacks Desai is supposed to represent say they’re being stiffed.

“I thought the 6 cents would go to health care,” cabby Placida Robinson said.

And although that six cent per fare sounds minuscule, but it adds up — $10 million to $15 million per year, according to David Pollack, executive director of the Committee for Taxi Safety, who refers to the tax as a “scam.”

“This is totally out of the TLC’s jurisdiction,” he said. “It’s not in the City Charter, and it’s illegal.”

As it turns out, some of this new tax will go into a disability fund for the drivers, but it only amounts to about $30 per driver per year.

And what kind of protection can one expect for $30 per year? I’m guessing a first aid book and a box of Band Aids.

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