When Small Biz Gets Hit By Big Fees

If building up a small business wasn’t hard enough, what happens when the city decides you should pay more in fees than you make per year? That is a problem Blue Sky Airport Parking is facing. The City of Phoenix is promoting new fees for ground transportation companies.

The information was certainly interesting: The Aviation Department announced it had spent $40,000 on a study that justified levying exorbitant new fees against the ground-transportation companies that serve airport travelers.

The city’s proposal would double taxi and limousine fees, while hammering hotel and rental-car shuttles, and off-site parking facilities. For Blue Sky, the impact would be devastating. The new fees would cost us $500,000 a year – more than our current annual payroll. This half-million-dollar hit would crush our small business at a time when Phoenix desperately needs jobs.

Why penalize airport-transportation providers? Airport officials say the fees are necessary to recover road-maintenance and infrastructure costs. The truth? The city’s study says the general public comprises 90 percent of Sky Harbor’s road traffic. We use those same roads – and our passengers already pay airport-facility fees when they buy plane tickets – yet we’re being singled out for a fee hike that’s absolutely anti-competitive. The fee hike also doesn’t take into account that Blue Sky, by having travelers park off-site, reduces Sky Harbor traffic by hundreds of cars a day.

Photo by Mark Hillary

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