Uber CEO responds to proposed ridesharing tax hike in DC

- The head of Uber sounded off about D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser's plan to hike the city’s ridesharing tax.

The proposal would increase the tax on rides originating from the District for companies such as Uber and Lyft from 1 percent to 4.75 percent. The money raised from this tax would help fund Metro.

Bowser is expected to sign a bill Friday to give $178 million a year in dedicated funding for the D.C. area transit system. Maryland and Virginia have agreed to provide its share of funding for Metro as well.

The mayor told a crowd gathered at Uber's D.C. office in Northeast on Wednesday that finding the money to support Metro was something she spread out.

“It hits property owners, it hits visitors, it hits residents and it hits the ridesharing services that we think is best for the city,” she said.

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi was asked about the proposed tax that will directly target his customers.

“We get to operate on the streets of this city. That's a privilege. It’s not a right and we recognize that,” said Khosrowshahi. 

He added, “We do see this investment in mass transit as an investment that ultimately long term is going to benefit us as well.”

Although Uber seems to be okay with the tax, customers are mixed over it.

“I don't like that because I literally take Uber everywhere. I don't really ride the Metro,” said one customer.

“[It] would be terrible because the prices went up a little in the last couple of months," another person said.

Khosrowshahi said he wants to make sure all companies are treated equally when it comes to having to charge its customers this increased tax.

This tax is included in the overall budget, which is currently under review by the D.C. Council.

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