Tampa Bay Times story about how one of Tampa’s largest cab companies, along with several independent taxi owners, have sued Hillsborough County, alleging that the local government unlawfully took their pricey taxi permits without just compensation.
In the suit, United Cab and individual cab owners claim that, like any property owners whose belongings are taken by the government, they are due compensation after the county abolished the long-standing taxicab medallion program, and required them and fellow taxicab owners to purchase new permits to operate for-hire vehicles in the county.
The original taxi medallions were property for which the holder had the right to sell or transfer to other people or companies. Taxi medallions often sold for many thousands of dollars each.
In its lawsuit, United Cab and fellow plaintiffs argue that the taking of their medallions without fair compensation is inverse condemnation, which happens when the government takes private property for public use without fulfilling its constitutional obligation of paying just compensation to the owner as required by the 5th Amendment to the Constitution.
The suit stems from actions taken by the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners, who in December of 2017 abolished the taxi medallion program and required for-hire drivers to purchase new permits. The new permits cannot be traded or sold.
Tampa attorney Anthony Martino, who represents the plaintiffs in this suit, is interviewed in the story. He’s with Tampa law firm Clark Martino.