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Please let us charge our customers less

Last month, I blogged about the case of Daniel Steiner, a Tampa limousine driver who had his business license put on probation recently for taking elderly and disabled patients to their doctor’s appointments for a low price. The county has a rule that requires all limousine companies to charge at least $40 per ride—a rule which they admit exists only to protect taxis against having to compete fairly against limos.

The Pacific Legal Foundation filed a civil rights lawsuit against the county’s public transportation commission, arguing that this law infringes unfairly on Mr. Steiner’s right to earn a living without unreasonable government interference. In their response to the lawsuit, the county argued that Mr. Steiner should have asked for a waiver of the minimum rate rule. Of course, the county has never granted a waiver of any rule, and the commission has never asked him to apply for one before. But, just to ensure that all the “i”s are dotted, we’re sending the commission a letter today to ask them, please let Mr. Steiner charge less than $40 per ride. Here’s the letter.