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Arizona Supreme Court Upholds Phoenix TNC Access Fees

On August 3, 2020, the Arizona Supreme Court issued an opinion affirming the constitutionality of the fees the City of Phoenix charges Transportation Network Companies (TNCs), like Uber and Lyft, to access Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.  The Arizona Attorney General challenged the fees under Arizona Constitution Article XI, Section 25, which generally prohibits new or increased “transaction-based” taxes and fees on services in Arizona.  In a unanimous decision, the Arizona Supreme Court held that the TNC access fee is not “transaction-based” and is not prohibited by Section 25. 

Kaplan Kirsch & Rockwell submitted a friend-of-the-court or “amicus” brief on behalf of the Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport Authority and the Arizona Airports Association urging the Court to find the fees constitutional.  The decision is important to airports and local governments throughout Arizona because many local government entities depend on access and user fees to fund airport operations as well as other municipal functions.  A copy of the decision can be found here.

For further information, contact Eric Pilsk.