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Arizona AG asks state Supreme Court to quash Phoenix airport Uber/Lyft fees

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PHOENIX – Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich is taking steps to prevent the city of Phoenix from implementing new fees next month on Uber and Lyft service at Sky Harbor International Airport.

Brnovich, who last week issued a report saying he believes the fee plan “very likely” violates the state constitution, filed two actions Tuesday with the Arizona Supreme Court.

In a 27-page special action, Brnovich asked the state’s highest court to rule that the fees approved last month by the Phoenix City Council violate of a voter-approved amendment banning new taxes or tax increases on services.

Brnovich also filed a 21-page motion to prevent the fees from going into effect before the special action has been resolved.

“We want the court to not only declare it unconstitutional … but we also want the court to stop it from going into effect on Feb. 1,” Brnovich told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Bruce St. James & Pamela Hughes Show after issuing his report Friday.

The city’s plan calls for charging ride-hailing companies $4 for curbside pickups and drop-offs beginning Feb. 1. The rate would increase 25 cents a year until hitting $5 in 2024.

Uber and Lyft have been operating at the airport with $2.66 fees for pickups and no charge for drop-offs.

The new plan also raises fees for other modes of commercial ground transportation at the airport.

Uber and Lyft have threatened to pull service from the airport if the fees went into effect, and there’s been no indication they’d change course.

Brnovich’s office completed its report in response state Rep. Nancy Barto filing a formal complaint about the fees’ constitutionality.

Mayor Kate Gallego, who’s been pushing for the fees, called the plan “smart” and “legal.”

J. Cabou, Phoenix legal counsel, told KTAR News the city has a constitutional right to charge for use of its property.

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