Limo operators appeal to city to waive operating fees
EDMONTON -- A group of Edmonton limousine operators is appealing to the city for a break on fees, citing business difficulties brought on by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
"Obviously, the limousine business has just tanked," said John Waterman with Black Gold Limousine. "There's nowhere to take people."
Limousine operators pay an annual $1,000 dispatch fee plus another $400 annual fee for each vehicle as well as another fee for each driver.
The city has given some other businesses half off their licensing fees for the year with city staff recommending a similar break for taxis, limousines and ride-sharing vehicles.
But business owners say they could still be in trouble even with that break.
"We are asking you now. We are pleading. We are begging. Please wavie the fees this year," said Suzan Burtic with Legends Limousine.
The city's fees are put towards a fund used to enforce industry bylaws and that has a balance of around $2 million.
"It's something that the industry did pay in," said Sylvain Vezina with Protocol Limousines.
The city estimates waiving all fees would cost it around $800,000.
Councillors will make the final decision when they meet again on Monday.
With files from Jeremy Thompson