Drivers for transportation network companies like Lyft and Uber who were told, depending on whom you ask, somewhat abruptly in April that they would need to obtain business licenses, are being granted two forms of reprieve. First, they'll have more time to pay up and register with the city, and second, they'll be granted forgiveness from previously enforced fines for past non-registration. Business licenses come at a cost of $91 per year, and the penalty for working without a license is $155 per year.
“It is my duty to fairly implement the business tax regulations in San Francisco,” city treasurer José Cisneros said according to a press release. “The ongoing litigation regarding the employment status of TNC drivers has resulted in significant confusion about business registration requirements in San Francisco."
So, in consultation with City Attorney Dennis Herrera, Cisneros will allow drivers the chance to register without penalty until August 31. Drivers who already paid their penalties (and interest) will be refunded, the treasurer assures.
The Examiner, which puts that number of registrants so far at 8,000, adds that Service Employees International Union 1021 would still like to see more changes from Cisneros. Namely, they'd like it if the TNCs themselves were on the hook for footing the bill for their contractor's business licenses.
"Please force tech giants like Uber and Lyft to pay their fair share, to protect both employee-drivers and riders,” Union leadersship wrote in an open letter. “The business registration tax should be placed squarely on their shoulders—they are the San Francisco businesses.” Other entities like United Drivers and the San Francisco Bay Area Drivers Association signed on to the letter, the Examiner says.