Miami-Dade Legislative Item
File Number: 140120
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File Number: 140120 File Type: Ordinance Status: Adopted
Version: 0 Reference: 14-10 Control: Board of County Commissioners
File Name: TAXIMETERS AND CREDIT CARD PROCESSING SYSTEMS Introduced: 1/17/2014
Requester: NONE Cost: Final Action: 1/29/2014
Agenda Date: 1/29/2014 Agenda Item Number:
Notes: SPECIAL ITEM NO. 4 Title: ORDINANCE RELATING TO VEHICLES FOR HIRE; AMENDING CHAPTER 31, ARTICLES II AND V OF THE CODE OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA, REGULATING FOR HIRE VEHICLES; AMENDING DEFINITIONS OF FARES OR RATES AND RATE CARD; PROVIDING FOR DEFINITION OF VIOLATION; AMENDING PROVISIONS RELATING TO RATE REGULATION; PROHIBITING THE ADDITION OF ANY SURCHARGE, FEE, CONVENIENCE FEE OR ANY OTHER COMPENSATION FOR THE USE OF A CREDIT CARD OR DEBIT CARD WITHOUT APPROVAL BY THE COUNTY COMMISSION; INCREASING PENALTIES WHERE CHAUFFEUR COLLECTS, REQUIRES, CHARGES, DEMANDS, REQUESTS OR ACCEPTS FARES OR COMPENSATION OTHER THAN ESTABLISHED FARES OR RATES; AMENDING PROVISIONS RELATING TO TAXIMETERS AND CREDIT CARD PROCESSING SYSTEMS; PROHIBITING OPERATOR OR CHAUFFEUR FROM OPERATING A CREDIT CARD PROCESSING SYSTEM THAT HAS NOT BEEN INSPECTED AND CERTIFIED; PROHIBITING OPERATOR OR CHAUFFEUR FROM OPERATING A TAXICAB WHERE THE TAXIMETER OR CREDIT CARD PROCESSING SYSTEM DOES NOT ACCURATELY DISPLAY APPROVED RATES AND FARES; AMENDING CHAPTER 8CC OF THE CODE TO PROVIDE FOR PENALTIES; PROVIDING SEVERABILITY, INCLUSION IN THE CODE, AND AN EFFECTIVE DATE [SEE ORIGINAL ITEM UNDER FILE NO. 131673]
Indexes: TAXICAB
Sponsors: Dennis C. Moss, Prime Sponsor
  Lynda Bell, Co-Sponsor
  Esteban L. Bovo, Jr., Co-Sponsor
  Sally A. Heyman, Co-Sponsor
  Barbara J. Jordan, Co-Sponsor
  Jean Monestime, Co-Sponsor
  Rebeca Sosa, 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. 4 Adopted P

County Attorney 1/17/2014 Assigned Gerald K. Sanchez

Transportation & Aviation Committee 11/13/2013 1F4 AMENDED Forwarded to BCC with a favorable recommendation with committee amendment(s) P
REPORT: Assistant County Attorney Bruce Libhaber read the foregoing proposed ordinance into the record. Chairman Moss noted he would move to amend this ordinance as was done in the previous ordinance, which changed the penalty provision from a permanent revocation to a five year suspension for a third violation of refusal to transport. Chairman Moss opened the public hearing for persons wishing to speak in connection with this ordinance, and the following persons appeared: 1. Mr. Diego Feliciano, President, South Florida Taxicab Association (SFTA), 3111 NW 27 Ave, supported this ordinance. 2. Mr. Jerry Moskowitz, 2284 NW 36 Street, supported this ordinance. 3. Mr. Bill Talbert, President/CEO, GMCVB, 701 Brickell, supported this ordinance. 4. Mr. Jackson Rip Holmes, 915 Palermo Avenue, Coral Gables, supported this ordinance. 5. Mr. Terry Eisenberg, 3600 NW 37 Court, supported this ordinance, and asked for clarification on the Committee’s decision regarding the vehicle age requirement. 6. Mr. Roberto Puente, 927 NE 199 Street, NMB, asked for clarification regarding the States’ regulations and how it applied to drivers that charged for usage of the credit card processing services. 7. Mr. Lorne A. Wray, 11825 Island Lakes Lane, Boca Raton, noted his company provided credit card equipment at no cost to its customers because its revenues were earned through the credit processing transactions. He asked how this ordinance would impact the driver’s cost and the providers of the equipment. 8. Mr. Jeremy Phillips, representing Taxi Magic, 5904 Richmond Highway, Alexandria, Virginia, supported Agenda Item 1F5 and the technology offered by Lorne Wray’s organization. He noted Taxi Magic has installed over 15,000 taxicab information monitors in 60 locations worldwide, processed millions of dollars in fares, and has explicit approval for its technology systems in NYC, Washington D.C., and several other major cities. 9. Mr. Les Eisenberg, 3600 NW 37 Court, noted he understood that funding would exist for the credit card technology due to approval of the cash discount option; however, erred on the issue of the vehicle age requirement because it would raise the cost of the vehicles over $10,000, and there was no funding for that. He urged the Committee members to reconsider that issue for an amendment. 10. Mr. Raymond Francois, Director, New Vision Taxi Drivers Association, 11970 NE 16 Ave, opposed this ordinance. Chairman Moss closed the public hearing, after no other persons appeared to speak. In response to speaker Mr. Fuente’s inquiry, Assistant County Attorney Gerald Sanchez explained that should a change occur in the Florida Statutes at some point in the future and the County Commission imposed a surcharge, it would be permissible only if the County Commission did so through a future fare change permitted by State law. He noted currently it was not permitted by State law. He affirmed that this ordinance provides for a discount for passengers paying by cash. Chairman Moss clarified that the cash discount option in Item 1F5 was incorporated into Items 1F1 and 1F2, therefore, if those ordinances were approved, Item 1F5 would not be needed. He answered in the affirmative to Mr. Fuente’s comment that for now the taxicab drivers would have to pay for the use of the credit card processing system until such time the County Commissioners approved a change. In response to the inquiries of speaker Mr. Wray, Assistant County Attorney Sanchez noted the intent was to structure the credit card fare similar to the gas station cash discount model so that the credit card transaction would include the amount of the cash discount. The difference between the credit card payment and the cash payment would be passed on to the facilitator or service provider. In response to Mr. Lorne's concerns that certain States prohibited credit card providers from passing the fee to the credit card customers, Mr. Sanchez noted that State law specifically allowed for the gas station cash discount model. Chairman Moss noted the significance was the cash discount option. Assistant County Attorney Sanchez read into the record the proposed amendment to change the penalty provision from a permanent revocation to a five year suspension for a third violation. Chairman Moss relinquished the chair to Vice Chair Barreiro and noted the intent of the amendment was to address the issues in the taxicab industry regarding drivers that had overcharged the passengers, and said this behavior was unacceptable in Miami-Dade County. Hearing no further comments or questions, the foregoing proposed ordinance was forwarded to the County Commission with a favorable recommendation with committee amendment(s) to change the penalty provision in Sec. 31-92, handwritten page 8, for an operator or chauffeur that commits a third violation of Section 31-303(i)(7), where a chauffeur collects, requires, charges, demands, requests or accepts fares or compensation above the established rates or fares (overcharges), such person’s chauffeur’s registration shall be automatically suspended for five years, rather than be permanently revoked and ineligible for a chauffeur’s registration in the future. Commissioner Moss resumed the chair and the Committee proceeded to consider the next agenda item.

Legislative Text


TITLE
ORDINANCE RELATING TO VEHICLES FOR HIRE; AMENDING CHAPTER 31, ARTICLES II AND V OF THE CODE OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA, REGULATING FOR HIRE VEHICLES; AMENDING DEFINITIONS OF FARES OR RATES AND RATE CARD; PROVIDING FOR DEFINITION OF VIOLATION; AMENDING PROVISIONS RELATING TO RATE REGULATION; PROHIBITING THE ADDITION OF ANY SURCHARGE, FEE, CONVENIENCE FEE OR ANY OTHER COMPENSATION FOR THE USE OF A CREDIT CARD OR DEBIT CARD WITHOUT APPROVAL BY THE COUNTY COMMISSION; INCREASING PENALTIES WHERE CHAUFFEUR COLLECTS, REQUIRES, CHARGES, DEMANDS, REQUESTS OR ACCEPTS FARES OR COMPENSATION OTHER THAN ESTABLISHED FARES OR RATES; AMENDING PROVISIONS RELATING TO TAXIMETERS AND CREDIT CARD PROCESSING SYSTEMS; PROHIBITING OPERATOR OR CHAUFFEUR FROM OPERATING A CREDIT CARD PROCESSING SYSTEM THAT HAS NOT BEEN INSPECTED AND CERTIFIED; PROHIBITING OPERATOR OR CHAUFFEUR FROM OPERATING A TAXICAB WHERE THE TAXIMETER OR CREDIT CARD PROCESSING SYSTEM DOES NOT ACCURATELY DISPLAY APPROVED RATES AND FARES; AMENDING CHAPTER 8CC OF THE CODE TO PROVIDE FOR PENALTIES; 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, Article II of the Code of Miami-Dade County, Florida, is hereby amended to read as follows:
Sec. 31-81. Definitions.

For the purposes of this article, the following definitions shall apply:

* * *

(o) Fares or rates means the charges >>, rates, surcharges, fees, convenience fees, fares or any other compensation<< established pursuant to this article to be paid by passengers for >>or related to<< the transportation services provided by a for-hire passenger motor vehicle. >>Fares or rates include any charge, rate, surcharge, convenience fee, fare or other compensation for the use of a credit or debit card.<<

* * *

(ll) Rate card means a card, issued by the CSD, which displays >>approved<< for-hire rates >>and fares<< and such other data as the CSD may prescribe.

* * *

>>(zz) Violation means: (i) having been found guilty of a citation issued pursuant to Chapter 31 or 8CC of the Code by an administrative hearing officer or judicial officer; or (ii) failing to pay or appeal a citation issued pursuant to Chapter 31 or 8CC of the Code within the established time; or (iii) paying the fine for a citation issued pursuant to Chapter 31 or 8CC of the Code.<<

* * *

Sec. 31-86. Taximeters >>and Credit Card Processing Systems<<.

(a) Each taxicab shall be equipped with a taximeter meeting the requirements described in this article. All customer receipts, whether handwritten or generated by a taximeter >>or a credit card processing system<<, shall contain the fare charged, the name and telephone number of the passenger service company, the operating permit number and the telephone number for filing complaints with the CSD. It shall be a violation of this article for any operator or chauffeur to operate any taxicab unless and until its taximeter >>and credit card processing system, if installed,<< has been inspected and certified as operable and accurate by CSD and has affixed thereto a current valid taximeter >>and credit card processing system<< certification label, sticker or decal. >>It shall also be a violation of this article for any operator or chauffeur to operate any taxicab where the taximeter or the credit card processing system, if installed, does not accurately display approved rates and fares. In the event that a taximeter or credit card processing system, if installed, fails inspection, said taxicab shall not be utilized until the deficiency has been corrected.<<

* * *

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 >>collect, require,<< 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. >>It shall be unlawful to add a surcharge, fee, convenience fee, fare or any other form of compensation to the fare or rate for the use of a credit card or debit card unless the County Commission has, to the extent permitted by Florida law, amended the fare schedule by resolution pursuant to this subsection, to allow for an additional surcharge, fee, convenience fee, fare or any other form of compensation for the use of a credit or debit card.<<

* * *


Sec. 31-92. Violations; penalties.

(a) In addition to any other penalties provided by law, including but not limited to those provided in this article, a violation of any applicable provision of this article by a for-hire license holder, registered passenger service company or registered chauffeur shall constitute a civil offense punishable by the applicable civil penalty as provided in the schedule of civil penalties in Section 8CC-10 of this Code. Failure of a person to pay a civil penalty within sixty (60) days of the due date for paying such fine as specified on the civil violation notice or within sixty (60) days of the date of the final outcome of any timely filed appeal of such violation notice, whichever is later, shall result in automatic suspension of such person's for-hire license, passenger service company registration, operating permit and chauffeur registration and all for-hire operations shall cease until such fine is paid in full. If a person commits five (5) violations of the same section of this chapter during any twelve-month period, such person's for-hire license, passenger service company registration, operating permit or chauffeur's registration shall be automatically revoked. If a person commits five (5) violations of this chapter during any twelve-month period, such person's for-hire license, passenger service company registration, operating permit or chauffeur's registration may be suspended for a period of up to six (6) months or revoked. Provided however, if a person commits three (3) violations of Section 31-82(j)(12) or 31-303(i)(4) or any combination thereof during any twelve-month period, such person's for-hire license, operating permit or chauffeur's registration may be suspended for a period of up to six (6) months or revoked. Notwithstanding any provision to the contrary, if a person commits two (2) violations of Section 31-303(i)(23), such person's chauffeur's registration may be suspended for a period of up to six (6) months or revoked. >>Notwithstanding any provision to the contrary: (i) if a person commits one (1) violation of Section 31-303(i)(7), such person's chauffeur's registration shall automatically be suspended for a period of thirty (30) days; (ii) if a person commits a second violation of Section 31-303(i)(7), such person's chauffeur registration shall automatically be suspended for a period of sixty (60) days; and (iii) if a person commits a third violation of

Section 31-303(i)(7),<< >>such person’s chauffer’s registration shall be automatically suspended for a period of five (5) years<< [[automatically and permanently revoked, and such person shall not be eligible for a chauffeur's registration in the future]].

(b) Failure to correct items recorded on a deficiency report by the time of deadline shall cause a citation to be issued for each such item. Citations shall be issued under Chapter 8CC of the Code.

(c) Any person who is found guilty on at least two (2) prior occasions within a three-year period of advertising or providing for-hire transportation, passenger services, or driving or operating a for-hire vehicle without having a valid, current for-hire license, passenger service company registration, operating permit or chauffeur's registration as required by this chapter shall be punishable by fines of greater than five thousand dollars ($5,000.00) but less than ten thousand dollars ($10,000.00) and/or imprisonment not to exceed forty-five (45) days.

(d) Except for civil violations, the hearings specified in subsection (c) hereof shall be within the jurisdiction of the County Court and the Clerk of the Court is hereby empowered to dispose of the case and fines assessed through the normal procedure.

(e) Anyone who engages a for-hire vehicle with intent to defraud the chauffeur or operator shall be in violation of this article and subject to a fine of five hundred dollars ($500.00) and/or imprisonment not to exceed ten (10) days.


(f) Any person who is found guilty of signing an application for issuance, renewal, modification, assignment, sale or transfer of a for-hire license, passenger service company registration, chauffeur registration or operating permit which falsely states any material fact shall be punished by a
fine of one thousand dollars ($1,000.00) and imprisonment in the County Jail for thirty (30) days.

* * *

Section 2. Chapter 31, Article V of the Code of Miami-Dade County, Florida, is hereby amended to read as follows:
* * *

Sec. 31-303. Chauffeur's registration; all types.

* * *

(i) Chauffeurs must abide by all rules and regulations applicable to chauffeurs and shall be subject to enforcement, violations and penalties contained in this chapter and Chapter 8CC of this Code. A chauffeur shall comply with the following regulations:

* * *

(7) No chauffeur shall collect >>, require, charge, demand, request or accept<< fares or compensation for transportation services >>or related services<< other than the established rates or [[charges]] >>fares<< for the type of service being provided, nor may any driver collect >>, require, charge, demand, request or accept<< any additional payment >>including any surcharge, fee, convenience fee, fare or any other form of compensation<< for >>the use of a credit or debit card, unless approved by the County Commission, or for<< transporting any baggage which accompanies the passenger, provided, however, that this provision shall not apply to gratuities.

(8) The passenger shall be offered a receipt for the fare collected.

* * *


Section 3. Section 8CC-10 of the Code of Miami-Dade County, Florida, is hereby amended to read as follows:
Sec. 8CC-10. Schedule of civil penalties.

* * *
Code Section Description of Violation Civil Penalty


31-86(a) Failure to operate with a $200.00
taximeter >>or a credit
card processing system<<
meeting requirements
of the Code

Section 4. 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 5. 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 6. 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.



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