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Car-sharing apps’ popularity drives debate about taxes

Car-sharing apps’ popularity drives debate about taxes
Photo Credit: BMW drivers by Charlene Trapp is licensed under Creative Commons Creative Commons
PHOENIX — When Chris Williamson was in the market for a new family car, a timely ad and conversations with a co-worker persuaded him to try something out of the ordinary. He bought a BMW 3 Series convertible and covers the payments by renting it to strangers on a peer-to-peer car sharing app called Turo.

It allows his family of seven to have a nicer car, essentially for free.

“It’s great to have that little bit of extra income and not have to worry about the car payments,” said Williamson, a teacher from the Phoenix area.

But his customers and others using car-sharing apps around the United States get their rentals tax-free. That’s made them a target for rental car companies, airport authorities and local governments. They say users of the upstart apps should pay the same taxes and fees that come with traditional rental cars.
Photo Credit: BMW drivers by Charlene Trapp is licensed under Creative Commons Creative Commons

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