PHOENIX – On Thursday, Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich weighed-in on the constitutionality of the rideshare fees imposed by the City of Phoenix. Brnovich believes the 200% increase in ride-share fees for services to and from Sky Harbor likely violates Arizona’s constitution.
Brnovich was responding to a complaint filed by Representative Nancy Barto in December. Barto filed what is called a “SB1487 complaint” which prompts the Attorney General’s Office to investigate alleged violations of the Arizona Constitution or state law.
In 2018, Arizona voters passed Proposition 126 with over 64% of the vote. It amended Arizona’s constitution to prohibit a city from increasing or imposing any new tax or fee on a person or business for providing a service in Arizona.
Brnovich discussed the investigative report on the matter:
— James T Harris (@JamesTHarris) January 17, 2020
Phoenix City Councilman Sal DiCiccio, a fiscal hawk, praised the finding a Facebook post: “Attorney General Mark Brnovich has declared that Phoenix’s horrible tax on rideshare may violate the Arizona State Constitution and therefore must go to the Arizona Supreme Court for review and determination. This is fantastic news for everyone who drives for or uses rideshare at the airport! I believe it is clear that this horrible tax is not only a direct attack on working and middle class families in Arizona, but it is also an outrageous violation of our constitution, and I am confident that the Supreme Court will throw out the horrible burden that Phoenix politicians recklessly imposed. Thank you AG Mark Brnovich for stepping in to protect Arizonans who depend on rideshare.”
In a press release, the Attorney General’s Office (AGO) announced it will “promptly file two actions with the Arizona Supreme Court to strike down the City of Phoenix’s unconstitutional rideshare fee and prevent the ordinance from taking effect. If the high court agrees with the AGO’s determination, Phoenix’s ordinance will be void.”
According to the AGO, “Since the legislature enacted SB1487 in 2016, the AGO has conducted 13 investigations of cities or towns that allegedly violated state law or the constitution by enacting illegal ordinances or taking illegal actions. To date, the Attorney General’s Office has determined four ordinances “may violate” state law (including Phoenix’s rideshare ordinance), two ordinances “do violate” state law, and four ordinances “do not violate” state law. Three requests for investigations were withdrawn by lawmakers. Six ordinances were ultimately repealed or amended by cities or towns as a result of AGO investigations.”
Read the investigative report here.