Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Institute for Justice Makes a Federal Case out of Nashville's Minimum Limo Price Law
Government's incompetence and greed sometimes take creative turns. Recently, in Nashville, Tennessee, the city government turned its corrupt cross-hairs on limousines and other unmarked sedans. The Institute for Justice's Mark Meranta writes via e-mail:
Until last year, limos and sedan cars in Nashville, TN were an affordable alternative to taxicabs. A trip to the airport only cost $25. But in June 2010, the Metropolitan County Council passed a series of regulations requested by the Tennessee Livery Association—a trade group formed by high-end limousine companies. These regulations force limo and sedan companies to increase their fares to $45 minimum. And, in January 2012, companies will have to take all vehicles off the road if they are more than seven years old for a sedan or SUV or more than ten years old for a limousine.
Advocates of government regulation have to come to terms with corrupt special interests' consistent capture of the very government whom they religiously believe will reduce abuses. Here, government regulation is serving to institutionalize high prices and institute monopoly at consumers' expense.
Happily, the Institute for Justice, the group that brought Suzette Kelo's law suit against New London, Connecticut's corrupt city government, is bringing a case against Nashville on behalf of the small operators whom the government bosses and high end limo operators aim to grind under their heels.
According to the Institute:
The regulations prohibit limo and sedan companies from using leased vehicles, require them to dispatch only from their place of business, require them to wait a minimum of 15 minutes before picking up a customer and forbid them from parking or waiting for customers at hotels or bars. And, in January 2012, companies will have to take all vehicles off the road if they are more than seven years old for a sedan or SUV or more than ten years old for a limousine...These regulations have nothing to do with public safety.
IJ has teamed up with some limo drivers to bring suit in federal court. Bless them, and may they win in court.