Philly schools will receive up to $2.5 million in annual tax revenue from Uber, Lyft

Philadelphia schools superintendent William Hite said on Thursday that the district will not return to in-person instruction unless it’s safe for students and staff.
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The Philadelphia school system has received an injection of cash from an unlikely source: millennials who cruise to their Tinder dates using the ride-hailing apps Uber and Lyft.

Well, the money isn’t all from millennials.

The $350,000 the School District of Philadelphia received from Uber and Lyft on Thursday was the first installment of a tax levied on the ride hailing powerhouses. The fee was written into the legislation that approved their use in the city. The tax would also apply to any similar ride-hailing company that is established.

Moving forward, the tax payments will be made quarterly and are projected to bring in an additional $2 million to $2.5 million a year for the general operating fund of Philly’s chronically cash-strapped schools, officials said.

“In just a short time, revenue has been generated that will directly benefit our schools,” state Sen. Vincent Hughes. “This funding is expected to continue to grow as rideshare companies become a more popular transportation choice for consumers, and that’s good news for our schoolchildren.”

The tax on Uber and Lyft and other so-called “ride-hailing” apps was part of a long-sought compromise in Harrisburg.

This first payment represents tax revenues earned during a 90-day “truce” struck over the summer that temporarily legalized the apps.

Under the law, which was approved in October, Philadelphia schools will receive two-thirds of a 1.4-percent tax on revenue Uber, Lyft and other ride-hailing apps generate. The remaining third goes to the Philadelphia Parking Authority.

The School District is expecting to receive another $411,000 from the two companies on revenue they earned from Nov. 4 to the end of 2016.

“The best system for the School District of Philadelphia is one that gives us predictable revenue sources, and receiving our first portion of rideshare funds is another positive step in that direction,” superintendent William Hite said in a statement.

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