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Council approves fee reductions for Edmonton limos, vehicles for hire

Click to play video 'Edmonton limo and taxi companies ask city council for break on fees' Edmonton limo and taxi companies ask city council for break on fees
WATCH (Sept. 30): Limousine and taxi service operators are asking Edmonton city council to cut them a break on fees as their industry faces challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Vinesh Pratap reports.

Edmonton city council approved a 100 per cent reduction in 2020 dispatch and vehicle licence fess for limousines on Oct. 5.

Council also approved a 50 per cent reduction in 2020 dispatch and vehicle licence fees for all other types of vehicles for hire.

“The fee reductions will be applied when licensees renew their dispatch and vehicle licences or apply for a new licence,” a City of Edmonton spokesperson told Global News.

For those who have already paid their 2020 fees, a credit will be applied to their 2021 fees, the city said.

Read more: Coronavirus: Edmonton limo and taxi companies ask city council for break on fees

Limousine and taxi service operators have been asking council to cut them a break on fees as their industry faces challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Read more: Coronavirus: City of Edmonton introduces new regulations for vehicle-for-hire services

Several operators addressed city councillors directly last month, reiterating concerns they have been raising for months: that the fees on top of an already challenging situation could force some of them to shut down.

Click to play video 'Limo companies in Edmonton say they can’t pay city fees' Limo companies in Edmonton say they can’t pay city fees
Limo companies in Edmonton say they can’t pay city fees

“We’re not asking the taxpayer to fund our businesses,” Sylvain Vezina of Protocol Limousines said on Sept. 30.

“We’re trying to say that we paid [into] that fund and it should be used for rainy days. And trust me, right now, it’s pouring.”

Read more: Limo companies struggling during pandemic say Edmonton fees crippling industry

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Operators asked that dispatch and licensing fees be suspended for the remainder of 2020. City administration recommended a 50 per cent reduction in fees.

Dispatch and licensing fees are meant to pay for industry enforcement and to promote growth in the number of accessible vehicles.

— With files from Vinesh Pratap and Phil Heidenreich, Global News