Miami-Dade Legislative Item
File Number: 132354
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File Number: 132354 File Type: Ordinance Status: Adopted
Version: 0 Reference: 14-12 Control: Board of County Commissioners
File Name: ORDINANCE RE: TAXICAB RATE REGULATION Introduced: 11/21/2013
Requester: NONE Cost: Final Action: 1/29/2014
Agenda Date: 1/29/2014 Agenda Item Number:
Notes: SPECIAL ITEM NO. 6 Title: ORDINANCE RELATING TO VEHICLES FOR HIRE; AMENDING CHAPTER 31 OF THE CODE OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA, RELATING TO RATE REGULATION; PROVIDING SEVERABILITY, INCLUSION IN THE CODE, AND AN EFFECTIVE DATE
Indexes: TAXICAB
Sponsors: Jean Monestime, Prime Sponsor
  Lynda Bell, Co-Sponsor
  Jose "Pepe" Diaz, Co-Sponsor
  Sally A. Heyman, Co-Sponsor
Sunset Provision: No Effective Date: Expiration Date:
Registered Lobbyist: None Listed


Legislative History

Acting Body Date Agenda Item Action Sent To Due Date Returned Pass/Fail

Board of County Commissioners 1/29/2014 Special Item No. 6 Adopted P
REPORT: Assistant County Attorney Gerald Sanchez read the foregoing proposed ordinance into the record. Commissioner Monestime noted the intent of this ordinance was to ensure the the taxi meter rates were reviewed on an annual basis, by the Board of County Commissioners (BCC) and that an adjustment was considered, based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI). He also noted the ordinance required the Administration to prepare and submit annual report containing relative information and a re-calculated figure on the Cost of Living, for the Board to review along with the rates. He indicated that the Taxi Industry had not received a rate adjustment since 2005, which was a long time. It was moved by Commissioner Monestime that this ordinance be adopted as presented. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Heyman, followed by a discussion. Chairwoman Sosa asked if the rates could potentially be increased every year, but never decreased, according to this ordinance. Mr. Joe Mora, Division Director, For-Hire Transportation Regulatory & Business Affairs Division, Regulatory and Economic Resources (RER) Department, said ‘yes’ but noted it would provide the BCC an opportunity to review the rates, compare previous years to the CPI, and decide if the rates should be increased or not. Chairwoman Sosa expressed concern that it seemed the Board would be limited to either increasing or maintaining the current rate, but never to decrease the rates if they felt it was in the public’s best interest. Assistant County Attorney Gerald Sanchez noted this ordinance included a provision that stated ‘…when the rate resolution was presented to the Board, the appropriate rate shall be no less than the previous rates adjusted by the CPI, unless the County Commission found that no change in the rates or a reduction in the rates was in the public’s best interest’ which meant the Board would have the authority to reduce the rates. Commissioner Diaz asked if the Board would have the flexibility to compare the County’s taxi meter rates with other jurisdictions rates. Mr. Mora noted the annual report required by this ordinance would include information on the CPI, and a survey comparing other jurisdictions to the County, which would be useful for comparing the rates, to ensure the County remained competitive. Commissioner Diaz commented that the Board’s intent was to ensure the County remained competitive, and the taxicab drivers earned a decent living. Commissioner Heyman noted, according to this ordinance, the Consumer Services Department (CSD) shall annually investigate, prepare a report on the existing rates and submit it to the Board for review, at which time the Board could either increase, decrease or maintain the same rates, based on the information provided in the report. She said she supported this ordinance and clarified its intent was to ensure the rates were reviewed on an annual basis. She asked to be listed as a co-sponsor of this ordinance. Commissioner Bovo noted his only concern was whether this ordinance ensured the Board would retain the right to change the rates. Vice Chair Bell noted she supported this ordinance and an annual review of the taxi rates, which she felt was appropriate. She asked to be added as a co-sponsor of this ordinance. Commissioner Diaz asked to be also listed as a co-sponsor of this ordinance. Commissioner Moss pointed out that State law prohibited the County from regulating the lease rates charged to taxi drivers by the companies or vehicle owners. He inquired whether a study was ever conducted to determine if the taxicab drivers had actually benefited from an increase in the meter rates. Mr. Mora noted that information is not collected by the RER Department. He also noted the rates were increased 25 percent over a two-year period (years 2003 through 2005), but also the lease prices were increased during the same time period or shortly thereafter, making it difficult to determine if the taxi drivers actually benefitted from it. Hearing no further discussion, the Board proceeded to vote on this ordinance as presented.

Transportation & Aviation Committee 1/15/2014 1E4 Forwarded to BCC with a favorable recommendation P
REPORT: Assistant County Attorney Bruce Libhaber read the foregoing proposed ordinance into the record. Chairman Moss opened the public hearing for persons wishing to speak in connection with this ordinance, and closed it after no one appeared to speak. It was moved by Commissioner Monestime and seconded by Commissioner Bovo that this ordinance be forwarded to the County Commission with a favorable recommendation. Commissioner Monestime noted the County Commission had not reviewed the local taxi cab meter rates for an adjustment since 2005, which had been a long time. He noted the intent of this ordinance was to improve the process, by allowing the County Commission to review the rates on an annual basis and consider adjusting them based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI). Hearing no further comments or questions, the Committee members proceeded to vote, by roll call, on this ordinance as presented.

Board of County Commissioners 12/3/2013 Tentatively scheduled for a public hearing Transportation & Aviation Committee 1/15/2014

Board of County Commissioners 12/3/2013 4G Adopted on first reading 1/15/2014 P
REPORT: The foregoing proposed ordinance was adopted on first reading and set for public hearing before the Transportation and Aviation Committee (TAC) on Wednesday, January 15, 2014, at 2:00 p..m.

County Attorney 11/21/2013 Referred Transportation & Aviation Committee 1/15/2014

County Attorney 11/21/2013 Assigned Gerald K. Sanchez 11/22/2013

Legislative Text


TITLE
ORDINANCE RELATING TO VEHICLES FOR HIRE; AMENDING CHAPTER 31 OF THE CODE OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA, RELATING TO RATE REGULATION; PROVIDING SEVERABILITY, INCLUSION IN THE CODE, AND AN EFFECTIVE DATE

BODY


BE IT ORDAINED BY THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA:
Section 1. Chapter 31 of the Code of Miami-Dade County, Florida, is hereby amended to read as follows: 1
CHAPTER 31

VEHICLES FOR HIRE

* * *

ARTICLE II. LICENSING AND REGULATION OF FOR HIRE MOTOR VEHICLES.

* * *

Sec. 31 87. Rate regulation.

(A) The provisions of this section shall be the exclusive method for the establishment of for-hire motor vehicle rates throughout Miami-Dade County. Notwithstanding the provisions of any municipal ordinance, resolution or agreement to the contrary, from and after the effective date of this article, no municipality shall authorize, establish, change, alter, amend, or otherwise regulate rates charged by the industry. All municipal ordinances or resolutions to the contrary are hereby superseded.
(B) It shall be unlawful for an operator or chauffeur to charge, demand, request or accept any fare other than the rates established pursuant to this article. Rates established by this article shall be applicable through Miami-Dade County, both in the incorporated and unincorporated areas, without regard to any municipal boundaries.
(C) Except as otherwise provided herein, the Board of County Commissioners of Miami-Dade County, Florida, shall establish all rates for taxicabs and for-hire vehicles operating in Miami-Dade County. From and after the effective date of this article, rates shall be established, altered, amended, revised, increased or decreased in accordance with the following procedures:
(1) The CSD[[, upon request of the Commission or the County Manager,]] shall >> annually<< investigate and prepare a report concerning the existing rates. In the case of taxicab rates, said investigation shall specify the relative changes in the consumer price index >>(“CPI”)<< over the preceding [[two-]]year [[period]] and shall quantify what rates would be if the currently approved uniform taxicab meter rates were adjusted for such change. Such investigation shall also consider any additional matters, or review of special service rates when requested by the Commission or Manager. For ratemaking purposes, the CSD will not consider any costs incurred in the acquisition of a license and political contributions. Costs which will be considered in rate studies will include vehicle operating, maintenance and repair expenses, salaries of drivers, dispatchers and supervisors, insurance costs, taxes and license fees, and administrative and general expenses as prescribed on CSD financial and operating report forms.
(2) The CSD’s report>>, including proposed rate adjustments reflecting the CPI,<< shall be forwarded to [[the County Manager who shall prepare a recommendation to]] the Board of County Commissioners>>annually<<.
(3) A public hearing concerning >>the report regarding<< rates shall be scheduled >>annually<<. At such hearing, all interested parties shall have an opportunity to be heard. The Board of County Commissioners shall consider the CSD’s report[[, the County Manager’s recommendation,]] and all evidence produced at the hearing and, by resolution, shall determine and set the appropriate rates >>which shall be no less than the previous rates adjusted by the CPI, unless the County Commission finds that no change in rates or a reduction in rates is in the public interest << [[as may be in the public interest]]. Appeals of the Board of County Commissioners’ decision shall be in accordance with the Florida Rules of Appellate Procedure for review of administrative action.
(4) As part of the rate-making procedure, the Board of County Commissioners may authorize special service rates such as shared rides, group rides, contract services, prearranged service, services to an identified segment of the population, flat rates for all licensed vehicles from one (1) point or area to another, or package delivery.
(5) Operators who desire to provide service at a rate other than that established under the preceding provisions of this section may request approval of such special rates by filing an application with the CSD. Within forty-five (45) days after receipt of the request, the CSD shall conduct an administrative hearing on the proposed rate, after written notice to the public and all operators, investigate the proposed rate and forward its analysis and recommendations to the County Manager. The CSD shall, among other things, consider:
(a) The effect of the proposed rate on increased public use of for-hire motor vehicles.
(b) The ability of the operator to provide the proposed service.
(c) The operator’s ability to manage the proposed rates.
(d) All information contained in the rate request application.
(e) Improved transportation in Miami-Dade County.
(f) The economic impact on the industry and the general public.
(6) The Director shall be authorized to approve a per trip taxicab rate surcharge in addition to the existing rates then in effect. Such surcharge, which is to be a fixed amount, may be imposed upon the occurrence of an unforeseen change in petroleum market conditions which causes the price of regular unleaded gasoline to increase by 50 cents from the base price. The base price shall be the average price of regular unleaded gasoline in effect as of the most recent taximeter rate adjustment. Upon reaching the first benchmark dollar value a one dollar ($1.00) surcharge may be implemented. Following the initial surcharge, each additional increase of 50 cents of regular unleaded gasoline may trigger an increase in the dollar value of the surcharge by 50 cents. The average weekly price of regular unleaded gasoline must remain at or above a level, as described above, for three (3) consecutive weeks before a surcharge, or an increase in the surcharge, may be authorized by the Director. The fuel surcharge shall expire upon the effective date of any taximeter rate adjustments. The fuel surcharge may be decreased or removed, by the Director, should the average weekly price of regular unleaded gasoline remain at or below a level, as stated above, for three (3) consecutive weeks. The average price of regular unleaded gasoline shall be based on the retail prices listed for regular unleaded gasoline by the United States Department of Energy, Energy Information Administration. The surcharge may be added to the taximeter rate or flat fare rate and, if added, shall be reflected on the taximeter as an extra charge on vehicles so equipped. Notice of a surcharge approved pursuant to this section must be prominently displayed within the taxicab, as required by regulations promulgated by CSD.
The County Manager is authorized to approve proposed rates that result in lower fares being charged by operators. All other proposed rates must be reviewed and approved by the Commission.
Any approved special rates must be filed with the CSD and be posted in each for-hire motor vehicle of the operator for which said rate applies, and copies provided to anyone requesting same. All approved special rates may not be modified or altered without prior written approval of the County Manager, in the case of reductions, or the Commission, in the case of increases. An operator may eliminate special rate(s) by thirty (30) days’ advance notice to the CSD and posting thirty (30) days’ written notice of the changes in all vehicles.
Section 2. If any section, subsection, sentence, clause or provision of this ordinance is held invalid, the remainder of this ordinance shall not be affected by such invalidity.
Section 3. It is the intention of the Board of County Commissioners, and it is hereby ordained that the provisions of this ordinance, including any sunset provision, shall become and be made a part of the Code of Miami-Dade County, Florida. The sections of this ordinance may be renumbered or relettered to accomplish such intention, and the word “ordinance” may be changed to “section,” “article,” or other appropriate word.
Section 4. This ordinance shall become effective ten (10) days after the date of enactment unless vetoed by the Mayor, and if vetoed, shall become effective only upon an override by this Board.

1 Words stricken through and/or [[double bracketed]] shall be deleted. Words underscored and/or >>double arrowed<< constitute the amendment proposed. Remaining provisions are now in effect and remain unchanged.



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