April 22, 2019
To: Members of the North Carolina Senate Rules and Operations Committee
From: Americans for Tax Reform (ATR)
Re: ATR Supports Senate Bills 620, 373
Dear Chairman Rabon and Members of the Rules and Operations Committee,
On behalf of Americans for Tax Reform and our supporters across North Carolina, I urge you to support and approve Senate Bill 620 and Senate Bill 373, which would provide commonsense guidelines for localities on electric scooters, while protecting consumers from any overregulation by local governments.
Electric scooters are a win for taxpayers, consumers, and government. They are a promising, cost-effective transportation option for North Carolinians, supplementing existing public and private transportation options, and reaching underserved areas. Scooters have also fostered a growing new sharing economy industry, creating opportunity and investment in the state.
S620 is vital to ensure that these benefits are protected. The bill protects against local governments using excessive fees, or overbearing regulations to take electric scooters out of operation.
Local governments still have plenty of control, with the ability to control speeds in areas like school zones, to determine parking areas, and to impose reasonable fees to pay for the regulation. It also includes an insurance requirement to protect all parties involved, without imposing unmanageable costs on operators.
The bill also provides needed data protections, so that data that is personal and should remain private is not forcibly taken by local governments, who may fail to store it securely.
S373 creates a sensible legal definition for all electronic scooters, avoiding having them senselessly treated like cars or trucks.
Having basic statewide standards will make it easier for consumers who won’t have to track wildly different rules from city-to-city, or county-to-county.
This is an issue that matters greatly statewide, even if scooters are more prominent in cities. It is in the interest of non-urban areas to ensure market solutions can make transit in cities efficient, and affordable. Especially since this approach costs rural taxpayers nothing. If market solutions do not solve transportation needs in cities, there could be a demand for more state spending on transit in the future.
Regulation and taxation of industry should be overseen by the state. Many emerging technologies and businesses have been irreparably damaged by aggressive local governments.
I thank you for your public service, and urge you to support S620 and S373. If you have any questions, or ATR can be of assistance, please contact me, or Vice President of State Affairs Patrick Gleason at [email protected], or 202-785-0266.
Grover G. Norquist
President, Americans for Tax Reform