Gov. Doug Ducey takes a swipe at Phoenix over Uber and Lyft, hits himself instead – AZCentral

The governor took a dig at the city of Phoenix in his State of the State speech over its fee hike on ride-share services at Sky Harbor airport.
Gov. Doug Ducey was patting his back for cutting bureaucratic red tape to drive the “freedom to work” and entrepreneurship in the state.
“Here you can brew beer, churn ice cream and make an honest living. Now, all we need is Uber and Lyft back at Sky Harbor,” Ducey said, alluding to the ride-share companies’ announcement they will soon stop services at the airport.
The swipe is hardly surprising given the governor and the state Legislature’s conservative politics and Phoenix’s liberal practices.
But it also highlights the tensions created by the right’s laissez-faire philosophy and the left’s penchant for regulations in the gig economy.
Phoenix officials drew a lot of heat for the fee increases — a 200% hike if you factor in both a pickup and a drop-off — imposed on Uber and Lyft but not the same for traditional commercial transportation such as taxis or shuttles.
In defending the fee hikes, Phoenix points out that the state allows taxis to be heavily regulated, in everything from wait times to round-the-clock service requirements and background checks for drivers. Uber and Lyft, meanwhile, have the state’s blessing to avoid local rules on background checks or when and where they can or must operate.
The playing field, in other words, is not even.
The state-local tension is playing out elsewhere, notably with short-term vacation rentals.
Ducey ushered in the era of Airbnb, VRBO and other home-share outfits that allow homeowners to effectively compete with hotels and beds-and-breakfasts without facing the same kind of regulations, including local planning and zoning rules.
That has created a sizable headache for neighbors of such properties across Arizona, especially larger homes that become party central for vacationers and celebrants of special events. In Sedona, short-term rentals have dried up housing accessibility for residents and workers in the tourism-dependent city.
The state Legislature continues to wrestle with new bills to curb some of the unintended consequences.
There was no shout-out by the governor about pending legislation to deal with the fallout of that regulation-free approach.
Reach Abe Kwok at On Twitter: @abekwok
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