Now’s the time
March 23, 2014
I am a taxi owner who has some reservations about the new rate increase effective as of May 1, 2014. This letter is in no way intended to criticise the Bermuda Taxi Owner's Association for their efforts but these are my opinions as an owner. I agree that a rate increase is long overdue, but in this economic climate I feel that 25 percent is too much at this time. The general public is not taking taxis now because of the economic climate they find themselves in.
I feel that a completed negotiated package for a smaller rate increase along with other initiatives, including: a smaller percentage paid on Payroll Tax or exemption during the off season, a fuel rebate, less duty on spare parts and the regulation of mini buses would have been more beneficial to owners. These initiatives and other measures also equate to a money value.
With the mini buses still unregulated this will take away even more business from taxi operators as they can further undercut prices for fares compared to taxis. Also along with the perceived income due to the rate increase we can now expect an increase in Payroll Tax deductions. The argument on the part of the BTOA that with the increase in rates this would help alleviate much of the operating cost and maintenance expenses of taxis, it is unlikely that Government will now concede to them when the BTOA go back to Government with the suggested initiatives. It is now time for the BTOA, all owners and operators come together for the good and future of the industry.