Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Uber Goes to the State House Seeking Preemption of Local Government Control

It appears the next step in the sharing economy wars is upon us.  When the sharing economy company is stymied by local government regulation, it appears that sharing economy companies are increasingly willing to go for the nuclear option:  a state statute preempting local control of sharing economy uses.  

Such a bill was just introduced before the Idaho Legislature a couple weeks ago.  The bill was largely written by Uber, which has had an acrimonious negotiation with Boise City because the city wants the company to do very basic things, such as run background checks on drivers.  Uber has decided, apparently, that it can't be bothered to follow even the most cursory of regulations (Boise is requesting far less than major cities have of Uber).  As a result, Uber has decided to do an end-run around the city and try its hand at the state level.  More about the back story here and here.

The proposed Idaho legislation is here.  A cursory review of the Internet found legislation for "transportation network companies" filed in Florida on the same day as in Idaho (February 26).  Washington also appears to be considering such legislation, and other states have previously considered TNC legislation.  However, the Idaho legislation appears unique, thus far, in preempting local control completely.  The Idaho legislation would provide:

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, TNCs and TNC drivers are governed exclusively by this chapter. No municipality or other local entity may impose a tax on, or require a license for, a TNC, a TNC driver, or a vehicle used by a TNC driver where such tax or licenses relates to providing TNC services, or subject a TNC to the municipality or other local entity's rate, entry, operational or other requirements.

Do any other states have such legislation?  Perhaps an uber-end-run around local governments is coming to a state house near you!

Stephen R. Miller



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Stephen - I haven't heard about this in Colorado yet. Our big fight is over local control of fracking, and I'm not sure that Uber yet has much presence here. But I'll keep an eye out!

Posted by: Jamie Baker Roskie | Mar 11, 2015 6:23:29 AM