The Killeen City Council will discuss easing regulations on city cab companies in light of a new state law governing ride-sharing companies at its workshop meeting today.
On July 18, the Council reached a consensus to draft a new ground transportation and taxi ordinance stripping away many city regulations on permitting, fees and possibly inspections at its workshop Tuesday.
In light of Gov. Greg Abbott’s signing of House Bill 100 on May 29, which washed away local regulations on ride-sharing apps like Uber and Lyft, the council appeared interested in trying to level the playing field for taxi companies that operate under franchise agreements with the city and are subject to set fare rates and permitting fees.
Councilman Jonathan Okray argued ride-sharing apps — even with pending Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation rules — do not operate on a level playing field with local taxi companies like Luxury Cab and Cove Taxi.
“We’re talking about global industry versus local enterprise,” Okray said. “Right now, it’s not equal.”
The draft ordinance going before the council today will change the city’s tax companies from franchises to operating authorities, strip away costly city inspections in favor of state inspections and bring driver background checks in line with those required of ride-sharing apps by state law.
In other business, the council will hold a planning session to discuss overhauling the city’s financial policies.
According to a city presentation, the council will institute a program of annually reviewing the city’s financial controls to help city staff evaluate the city’s current financial state, evaluate future programs and help maintain long-term stable and positive financial condition.
The council will consider issuing $30,295,000 in “refunding,” or refinanced, general obligation debt to save the city $2.2 million over the life of the bonds, according to a city memorandum.
The council will be required to approve an ordinance and budget amendment to issue the refunding debt.
The council workshop will begin at 5 p.m. at 210 W. Avenue C.