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FORMAL COMPLAINT AGAINST TEXAS GOVERNOR ABBOTT, LT.GOV PATRICK AND ATTORNEY GENERAL PAXTON and REP. PADDIE

Abe Martinez US Attorney

Dear Limousine Operators,

The limousine operators in Texas are very disappointed and angry because of the approval of the State of Texas HB 100, State Regulation of the UBER Transportation Service without including them in the process and with mandating the basic requirement, imposed on limousine and taxi industries, while disregarding the customers safety and well being supposed to be protected by the state legislators.

One of the Limousine operators is fighting back using the legal way to pursue the Governor of Texas and other concerned elected officials. Joe Jordan has send a letter to the U.S Attorneys Abe Martinez & Brian Stretch to seek an injunction to halt the implementation of the HB 100 bill.

Below id the letter he sent.

 

—-Start of the letter—-

Abe Martinez
U.S. Attorney
Southern District of Texas
1000 Louisiana St. Suite 2300
Houston TX 77002
.
May 24th, 2017
.
cc: Brian Stretch
U.S. Attorney
Northern District of California
Federal Courthouse
450 Golden Gate Ave 11th Floor
San Francisco CA 94102
 

Dear Mr. Martinez:

We are contacting you today to seek an immediate Federal Injunction to halt the vote or implementation of State of Texas HB 100, State Regulation of the UBER Transportation Service.

It is our contention that UBER is a Continuing Criminal Enterprise as defined under the Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organization Statute (CCE/RICO).

We further contend that UBER’s “Unusually Large” campaign donations have caused the Governor and the Texas Legislature to not perform normal due diligence in investigating potential illegal conflicts of interest on contractors seeking to be licensed by the State of Texas.

WE SPECIFICALLY ACCUSE THE ABOVE PARTIES OF:

  • Malfeasance of Office
  • Deprivation of Civil Rights While Acting Under Color of Law
  • Money Laundering
  • Human Trafficking
  • Investor Fraud
  • Consumer Fraud
  • Reckless Endangerment of Public Safety
  • Promoting Employment of Illegal Aliens
  • Gross Negligence

Salient Points:

  1. The Texas Attorney General is under State and Federal indictments and must be recused in this matter. (Eg. Letting the fox guard the hen house)
  2. HB 100 does not provide for DPS/FBI/NCIC background checks of drivers. Police agencies at all levels have emphatically said that background checks without finger prints are “Totally
  3. Worthless”
  4. HB 100 does not provide for adequate 24/7/365 verification of driver’s personal auto insurance with a TNC rider.
  5. HB 100 does not provide for verification of a driver’s right to work in the USA, Green Cards, I-9 or E-Verify. This is a flagrant abuse of President Trump’s efforts to halt illegal immigration of people stealing jobs from Americans.

ONGOING FEDERAL CRIMINAL INVESTIGATIONS OF UBER BY USDOJ NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA

  1. UBER proprietary software called “Grayball” that enables drivers to evade police and transportation inspectors.
  2. Intellectual Property Theft of Google Alphabet, Waymo and Otto where UBER allegedly enticed an executive of Alphabet to quit and abscond with 14,000 highly technical emails on driverless cars.
  3. Intellectual Property Theft from Apple regarding personal information on customer’s Apple phones.
  4. Violation of the Privacy Act where UBER used its “Godview” software to track and harass women, competitors, and politicians.

SUMMARY:

Time is of the essence. HB 100 must go to the governor by May 29th to be signed. We feel that this bill is flawed and highly illegal under numerous Federal Statutes and should be halted by your office unless and until these issues can be properly resolved.

Please take immediate remedial action

Joe L. Jordan

—-end of the letter —–

If you have any questions for Mr. Jordan, you can contact him using the information below.

Joe L. Jordan, Editor
Limoinsider Report
14173 Northwest Freeway #166
Houston TX  77040
713 680-3181
limoinsider@aol.com
www.limoinsider.net

 

Jon Ouazdi
Admin
TransGates Limousine

 

 

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If S.B. No. 176 Passed, It Will Radically Change TNC & Limousine Business

TransGates-Limousine-at-Capitol-Hill-Meeting.
Austin 05/02/2017. 9:00 AM
 .
On Tuesday May 02, 2017, The Limousine Coalition of Texas has gathered in Capitol Hill in Austin to meet with State Sen. Charles Schwertner  to discuss his State bill S.B. No. 176. The meeting started at 9:00 am and six Limousine operators were representing different geographical areas of Texas, with different companies sizes from a one car operator to a 200 vehicles operation.
 
The Houston Limousine Association was represented by Matt Matt Assolin, VP of Nikkos Worldwide Chauffeured Services and Jon Ouazdi, owner of TransGates Limousine.  Austin was represented by Mark R. Sweetland, president of Carey of Austin. Dallas was present by Todd Davis, Business Relations manager of, Premier Transportation of Dallas, Jason L. Smith is the president of Lone Star Executive Limousine out of the Woodlands, Conroe area and Ed Herndon, president of Esquire Limousine out of Round Rock , TX.
TransGates-Limousine-at-Capitol-Hill-Meeting.

Texas Limousine Operators at State Sen. Charles Schwertner  office in Capitol Hill Austin. —  From Left to right: Jason L. Smith, Ed Herndon, Jon Ouazdi, Mark R. Sweetland, Matt Assolin, Todd Davis.

The Texas S.B. No. 176 introduced by State Sen. Charles Schwertner District 5 (R-Georgetown) is another bill that would allow the TNC Providers to be regulated by the State. If passed this bill will radically change the limousine business model as we know it today. The TNC will enjoy so much freedom and flexibility, and a state wide reduced overhead, and a huge saving when it comes to administrative work concerning licensing vehicles. The Limousine operators raised concerns about many issues that was overlooked and forgotten and we have a great meeting with Mr. Joey Halbert which is the person who wrote the actual bill.

Just an example compared to Limousine, the TNC  will pay $10,000 for a license for up to 50 drivers, and the license is valid for 2 years. which means $5000 per year. If we do the math, that’s a $100 per driver. Most Limousine companies in Houston pay between $700 & $1200 per vehicle, so we are already losing when it comes to the first expense to be paid to start driving, and the rest is on the way.

The stand of the Limousine Coalition of Texas is the fact that Texas TNC Bills  176 address the needs of a few, not the many.  It only accommodate the needs of the new players in the transportation business (TNC’s), while totally ignoring the classic providers of livery, charters, and other mode of transportations services. Moreover, Transportation Network Companies (TNCs) have a poor track record when it comes to public safety that bills do not entirely address.

Limousine, Shuttle, Charter, Airport Shuttle, jetney and other for hire vehicle companies (FHVs) in Texas support the following measures in general terms:

  1. Drug Testing Requirement
  2. Fingerprint Background Checks
  3. Full Time Commercial Insurance
  4. Vehicle Safety Checks

The regulatory power of cities and municipalities has been increasingly overreaching for the past decade.  Many regulate beyond their scope as provided by Texas Transportation Code Section 215.004.  Such infringements include regulating and levying fees on vehicles that seat 16 passengers and more, creating burdensome laws that result in poor business practices and municipalities with less than 1.9 million people regulating transportation.  For instance, small cities in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area are popping up with their own fees with less than the 1.9 million people requirement.  

Many FHV fleets in Texas have a mixed fleet of vehicles that end up falling under multiple regulatory agencies, such as several municipalities and under Texas DMV.  As an example, in the DFW area, companies must register and pay fees for their vehicles that seat 15 passengers or less to five different regulatory jurisdictions; then, they must also add Texas DMV for their vehicles seating 16 passengers or more.  In the case of Houston, the city regulates FHVs, what’s to stop Montgomery County (north of Houston) to begin levying fees arbitrarily.  Moreover, there is an increasing amount of travel between Austin and San Antonio due the close proximity of the cities and shared industries.  City officials in both cities are unduly harsh on FHVs requiring permits for each city, even in violation of the RIDE Act set out by US Congress five years ago regulating ground transportation with regard to interstate commerce.

It is the view of the current Limousine, Shuttle, Charter, Airport Shuttle and any for hire vehicle companies (FHVs) in Texas that having multiple jurisdictions of regulation is burdensome, punitive towards providers and consumers and stagnates growth of revenue and jobs.  Limousine Coalition of Texas can support SB176 with the following changes to the bill

  1. Re-writing of SB 176 to include all FHV categories and removing the ability for cities and municipalities to regulate and levy fees to the FHV industry with exception to public airports.  All regulation would be enforced by the Texas DMV.  This would include removing the term “Limousine” from Texas Transportation Code Section 215.004.
  2. 10-point fingerprint background check and criminal history report for all drivers.
  3. Implementation of 5-panel Drug Testing for all drivers of FHVs and TNCs.
  4. Change of fee levied upon FHVs and TNCs to a percentage of gross revenue directly related to vehicles operated in Texas or implementing a different category of fee for companies who own their own vehicles.
  5. Requirement of full time, primary payer, commercial liability insurance for no less than $1,000,000 per occurrence.
  6. Adding all FHVs would add funds to the general fund to support the activities of the DMV enforcement.
  7. We would like to reference California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) section 5371 as a framework for a new Texas Transportation Regulatory Authorization.

Most recently, to prove how ineffective, burdensome and economically depressing our current system is, during the 2017 Super Bowl in Houston, companies in Houston had to jump through enormous hoops to bring other in-state licensed chauffeured vehicles into the market to satisfy demand.  It cost thousands of dollars and hours of time to satisfy the demands of the City of Houston regulatory burden.  

At the end of the day, all we ask for is a fair and level regulatory playing field.  Our position is that TNCs are here to stay and compete in the market.  However, they should not have a government given advantage.   We ask that any further consideration to SB176 would include ALL for hire vehicles in the State of Texas and can provide for a new regulatory environment.

Please read the bill and become familiar with your future. If you have any questions or suggestions for the bill, please join us on the Houston Limousine Association meeting, Tuesday May 16, 2017 at 6:30 pm, there will be a detailed discussion about the bill and other issues related to this matter.


State Sen. Charles Schwertner

State Sen. Charles Schwertner

85R2901 JTS-F 

By:  Schwertner   S.B. No. 176

  

A BILL TO BE ENTITLED

AN ACT

relating to the regulation of transportation network companies; requiring an occupational permit; authorizing a fee.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:

SECTION 1.  Subtitle C, Title 14, Occupations Code, is amended by adding Chapter 2402 to read as follows:

CHAPTER 2402. TRANSPORTATION NETWORK COMPANIES

SUBCHAPTER A. GENERAL PROVISIONS

Sec. 2402.001.  DEFINITIONS.  In this chapter:

(1)  “Commission” means the Texas Commission of Licensing and Regulation.

(2)  “Department” means the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation.

(3)  “Digital network” means the online-enabled application, software, website, or system offered or used by a transportation network company to connect passengers and drivers.

(4)  “Passenger vehicle” means a motor vehicle designed to carry fewer than 16 passengers, including the driver.

Sec. 2402.002.  DEFINITION OF TRANSPORTATION NETWORK COMPANY.  In this chapter, “transportation network company” means a corporation, sole proprietorship, or other entity that enables a passenger to prearrange a ride in a passenger vehicle with the driver of the vehicle exclusively through the company’s digital network.  The term does not include an entity that provides, in addition to rides prearranged through a digital network:

(1)  street-hail taxicab services; or

(2)  limousine or other car services arranged by a method other than through a digital network.

Sec. 2402.003.  CONTROLLING AUTHORITY.  Notwithstanding any other provision of law, transportation network companies and drivers accessing a transportation network company’s digital network are governed exclusively by this chapter.  A municipality or other local entity may not:

(1)  impose a tax on or require a license for a transportation network company or a driver who has access to a transportation network company’s digital network; or

(2)  subject a transportation network company or a driver who has access to a transportation network company’s digital network to the municipality’s or other local entity’s rate, entry, operational, or other requirements.

SUBCHAPTER B.  PERMIT REQUIRED

Sec. 2402.051.  PERMIT REQUIRED.  (a)  A person may not operate a transportation network company in this state without obtaining and maintaining a permit issued under this chapter.

(b)  The department shall issue a permit to each applicant that meets the requirements of this chapter and pays the fee required by Section 2402.052.

Sec. 2402.052.  FEE.  A transportation network company shall annually pay a fee to the department to maintain a permit under this chapter. The amount of the fee is:

(1)  $10,000 for a transportation network company whose digital network is used by 50 or fewer drivers;

(2)  $30,000 for a transportation network company whose digital network is used by 51-200 drivers;

(3)  $75,000 for a transportation network company whose digital network is used by 201-1,000 drivers; and

(4)  $125,000 for a transportation network company whose digital network is used by more than 1,000 drivers.

Sec. 2402.053.  PERMIT APPLICATION.  (a) An application for a transportation network company permit must be on a form prescribed by the department.  The application must include information that meets the requirements of this chapter and information the commission by rule determines is necessary to determine the applicant’s qualifications to adequately serve the public.

(b)  The applicant shall notify the department of any material change in the information included in an application not later than the 10th calendar day after the date the change occurs. The department shall prescribe a form for the disclosure of material changes.

Sec. 2402.054.  TERM; RENEWAL. (a) A permit issued under this chapter is valid for two years. The department shall prescribe the form and requirements necessary to apply for a renewal of a permit.

(b)  The department shall notify each person holding a permit under this chapter of the date of permit expiration and the amount of the fee required for permit renewal. The department shall send the notice not later than the 30th day before the date of the permit expiration.

SUBCHAPTER C.  DRIVER REQUIREMENTS AND POLICIES

Sec. 2402.101.  DRIVER PREREQUISITES.  (a) Before allowing an individual to act as a driver on the company’s digital network, a transportation network company must:

(1)  require the individual to submit an application to the company that includes information regarding the individual’s address, age, driver’s license, driving history, motor vehicle registration, motor vehicle liability insurance, and other information required by the company;

(2)  conduct, or have a third party conduct, a local and national criminal background check for each individual that includes the use of:

(A)  a commercial multistate and multijurisdiction criminal records locator with primary source validation; and

(B)  the national sex offender registry database maintained by the United States Department of Justice or successor agency; and

(3)  obtain and review the individual’s driving record.

(b)  A transportation network company may not permit to act as a driver on its digital network an individual who:

(1)  has been convicted of:

(A)  more than three offenses classified by the Department of Public Safety as moving violations in the preceding three-year period; or

(B)  one of the following offenses in the preceding three-year period:

(i)  evading arrest or detention under Section 38.04, Penal Code;

(ii)  reckless driving under Section 545.401, Transportation Code;

(iii)  driving without a valid driver’s license under Section 521.025, Transportation Code; or

(iv)  driving with an invalid driver’s license under Section 521.457, Transportation Code;

(2)  has been convicted, in the preceding five-year period, of driving while intoxicated under Section 49.04 or 49.045, Penal Code;

(3)  has been convicted at any time of:

(A)  fraud;

(B)  a sexual offense;

(C)  use of a motor vehicle to commit:

(i)  a felony;

(ii)  a crime involving property damage;

(iii)  theft;

(iv)  an act of violence; or

(v)  an offense of making a terroristic threat;

(D)  an offense listed in Article 42A.054(a), Code of Criminal Procedure; or

(E)  invasive visual recording under Section 21.15, Penal Code;

(4)  is a match in the national sex offender registry database;

(5)  does not possess a valid driver’s license;

(6)  does not possess proof of registration or financial responsibility for the motor vehicle that will be used to provide rides prearranged through the company’s digital network; or

(7)  is younger than 19 years of age.

Sec. 2402.102.  DRIVER DRUG AND ALCOHOL USE POLICY.  (a) A transportation network company shall adopt and implement a policy prohibiting drivers from using or being under the influence of drugs or alcohol when the driver is logged on to the company’s digital network, regardless of whether the driver is providing a ride prearranged through the network.

(b)  A transportation network company shall post on the company’s Internet website:

(1)  notice of the drug and alcohol policy; and

(2)  procedures to report a complaint about a driver with whom a passenger was matched through the digital network and who the passenger reasonably suspects was using or was under the influence of drugs or alcohol during the course of the trip.

Sec. 2402.103.  DISCRIMINATION POLICY.  (a) A transportation network company shall adopt and implement a policy prohibiting driver discrimination against passengers and individuals requesting rides using the company’s digital network based on:

(1)  a characteristic protected from discrimination under state or federal law, including race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability, age, sexual orientation, or gender identity or expression; or

(2)  the geographic location of a person requesting a ride.

(b)  A policy adopted under Subsection (a) must include provisions prohibiting drivers from:

(1)  refusing to accept a ride request based on the geographic location of the person requesting a ride if the passenger’s destination is 30 miles or less from the passenger’s departure point;

(2)  refusing to accommodate service animals; and

(3)  charging an additional fee or higher rate based on a factor described by Subsection (a).

(c)  A transportation network company shall post on the company’s Internet website:

(1)  notice of the discrimination policy; and

(2)  procedures to report a complaint about a driver who:

(A)  accepted or declined a person’s ride request; and

(B)  the person reasonably suspects discriminated against the person on a basis described by Subsection (a).

Sec. 2402.104.  POLICY ENFORCEMENT.  (a)  On receipt of a complaint alleging a violation by a driver of the drug and alcohol policy under Section 2402.102 or the discrimination policy under Section 2402.103, the transportation network company shall:

(1)  conduct an investigation into the reported incident;

(2)  immediately suspend the driver’s access to the company’s digital network for the duration of the investigation; and

(3)  permanently suspend the driver’s access if the company determines that the driver has violated the policy.

(b)  The transportation network company shall maintain records relevant to a complaint for a period of at least two years after the date the complaint is received.

Sec. 2402.105.  NO STREET HAILS.  Unless authorized by other law, including Section 215.004, Local Government Code, a driver authorized to access a transportation network company’s digital network may not solicit or accept street hails.

SUBCHAPTER D. TRANSPORTATION NETWORK COMPANY REQUIREMENTS

Sec. 2402.151.  DISCLOSURE OF RATES; ESTIMATED FARES.  A transportation network company shall, before a passenger enters a driver’s vehicle, provide the passenger with:

(1)  the applicable rates being charged for the ride; and

(2)  the option to receive an estimated fare.

Sec. 2402.152.  ELECTRONIC RECEIPT.  Within a reasonable period of time following the completion of a ride, a transportation network company shall transmit an electronic receipt to the passenger that lists:

(1)  the origin and destination of the ride;

(2)  the total time and distance of the ride; and

(3)  an itemization of the total fare paid, if any.

Sec. 2402.153.  IDENTIFICATION OF VEHICLES AND DRIVERS.  A transportation network company’s digital network must display to a passenger, before the passenger enters the vehicle:

(1)  a picture of the driver; and

(2)  the vehicle’s license plate number.

Sec. 2402.154.  ACCESSIBLE TRANSPORTATION; SURCHARGE. (a) A transportation network company shall provide passengers an opportunity to indicate whether they require a wheelchair-accessible vehicle. If a transportation network company is unable to arrange wheelchair-accessible service, the company shall direct the passenger to an alternate provider of wheelchair-accessible service, if available.

(b)  The department may impose a fee, not to exceed $20,000 annually, on transportation network companies that have more than 200 drivers and that do not provide, at a minimum level determined by commission rule, wheelchair-accessible service. The department shall remit the fees to the comptroller for deposit in a trust fund outside the state treasury to be held by the comptroller and administered by the department to provide grants to transportation network companies to provide wheelchair-accessible service.

(c)  A grant distributed under Subsection (b):

(1)  may be in an amount not to exceed $15,000; and

(2)  may be distributed only to a company that meets the minimum level of wheelchair-accessible service as determined by commission rule.

Sec. 2402.155.  RECORDS.  A transportation network company shall maintain:

(1)  individual ride records for at least two years after the date the ride was provided; and

(2)  driver records at least until the second anniversary of the date on which a driver’s activation on the company’s digital network has ended.

SECTION 2.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2017.

Jon Ouazdi
Admin
Transgates Limousine

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Hobby Airport No Standing Zone

Houston Airport System

To all Limo Drivers:

Hobby Airport Landside Operations Manager Dawn Hoffman, has invited the Houston Limousine Association to a private meeting last week to discuss some concerns about Limousine drivers and some other issues concerning the airport system.

The major issue that was brought up by Hoffman was the illegal solicitation at Hobby Airport and how this issue is affecting the airport travelers and the overall general outlook of the airport. The manager stated that the airport is working on some of the serious solutions to fight the illegal solicitation at the airport, and here is some of the propositions they have on the table.

 

No standing zone: The airport administration designated 2 areas where the driver can not stand to wait for their clients, which is the area by the exit doors, and the area in between the glass doors. Drivers standing in this area are blocking the traffic, and they are only standing there to solicit client.

Limousine drivers are not allowed to wait on the second floor (Departure terminal)

Limousine drivers can not wait on the curbside or at the limousine parking to solicit client.

The Landside Operation will be increasing enforcement by issuing violations, Revoking HAS Permits, towing vehicles, and they are also working with the HPD, and the ARA to curb solicitations.

Drivers who get caught soliciting, can be issued a trespassing citation which will ban them from coming to the airport for ever.

 

The manager also brought up that some drivers are not complying with the manifest requirement, or they are trying to be hostile toward the HAS employees, please when you go to the airport make sure that you have always wear your LL badge and have your manifest, with the correct information, if any information is missing,  you may be issued a citation. Please be nice and professional when approached by the HAS employees, and remember they are just doing their job, just like the rest of us.

There are two designated areas for drivers to stand and wait for their clients, one is by the information screens, and one is by the left side arrival hallway as you can see below on the diagram

Hobby Airport No Standing Zone

Below is the letter we received from Hoffman

Attention Limo Drivers:

Hobby Airport is committed to reducing solicitation. Landside Operations is taking steps to increase enforcement through issuing citations, revoking HAS permits, and working closer with the Administration & Regulatory Affairs (ARA) department. In addition, we have established a limo driver free area as marked in red below. This area is the main walkway for passengers and must not be occupied by drivers. Drivers are expected to wait for their passengers along the wall out of walkway, see the green areas below. Drivers are also not allowed upstairs, in between the exit doors, or curbside. If you are approached by any HAS employee to relocate or present manifest/license, you must comply. If you have any comments or questions please contact the Landside Operations Supervisor on duty.

Thank you,

Dawn Hoffman, Hobby Landside Operations Manager

The second issue that was brought us by the manager, was the potential HAS system updates about the payment concerning the access to the airport by all the ground transportation providers. Right now we are paying a fixed annual fess for the HAS permit, which range from $350 for a sedan to $950 for a coach bus, The Houston Airport System is looking to implement a new system that charge by entry to the airport (just like the old system we used to have about 7 years ago for those who were operating back then). Basically the airport will charge you every time you enter the airport, the system use your EZ Tag to track your entries to the airport, and at the end of the month will charge the credit card on file, or send you an invoice for the monthly usage. When we asked her about the base charge for every entry, she said they did not set up the rates, but she believed it won’t be more than $5 for each entry, which translates to a new annual fee that a way higher than what we are currently paying. The system might be operational by the end of the year.

Please be advised about the changes coming to the airport, and always be ready when you go to pick up your client. Companies who are using electronic apps, or changed their manifest sample, need to update it with the ARA as soon as possible to avoid citation for non-compliance.

Hobby-Airport-No-Standing-Zone-pictures

Hobby-Airport-No-Standing-Zone-pictures

If you have any questions about this issue, please contact HALCA for more details.

 

Jon Ouazdi.
Admin

 

 

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What is a W-9 Form and Form 1099-MISC

W-9 form pic

Dear Limousine Operators,

This article is intended for limousine operators who are new to being self-employed and not familiar with the Form 1099-C and W-9.  Many new operators are surprised when they receive a W-9 form from a company that contract jobs to them, and they are reluctant to provide their social security number and other sensitive information. So this article shed light over this form, and some related information about it.

 

What Is a W-9 Form? 

W-9 Form: Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification

A W-9 form is used to collect information about you (if you work under a dba only), or your business (If you are incorporated), that can be used by the person paying you to complete an informational report for the IRS, such as a 1099-MISC form.

You can download the form here from the IRS website

 

What Is a Form 1099-MISC?

Form 1099-MISC.- Miscellaneous Income

Businesses most commonly use IRS form W-9, Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification, to get information from vendors they hire as independent contractors (also called affiliate in the limousine business). When a business pays an independent contractor $600 or more over the course of a tax year, it is required to report these payments to the IRS on an information return called form 1099-MISC. Businesses use the name, address and Social Security or tax identification number from form W-9 to complete form 1099-MISC.

You can download 1099 form here from the IRS website

 

How to fill up a W-9 Form?

To complete Form W-9, you’ll need to enter your full name as shown on your federal income tax return on the first line. If you are operating a business under a separate name, you should enter that on the second line. In the next section, you select your tax classification. Most employed and self-employed taxpayers will select Individual/Sole Proprietor”. Professionals who operate partnerships, corporations or estates should select the appropriate classification for their situation.

Taxpayer identification number

After you complete the mailing address section, you’ll need to enter your taxpayer identification number, or TIN. Generally, this is your Social Security number. Nonresident aliens who do not have Social Security numbers should enter their assigned TIN in this field.

If you’re running your own business and you have an employer identification number, you should enter that number next to the EIN field. Sign and date the form at the bottom.


Who Must Issue Forms 1099-C?

The Instructions for Form 1099-MISC from the Internal Revenue Service explain the various situations that require a business to issue Forms 1099-MISC.

You must complete, file and issue this form to all vendors or contractors—not employees—to whom you have paid $600 or more during the year.

As an example: Capital Limousine farm out some trips for $600 to Big Guy Limo, Capital limousine will request a W-9 from Big guy limo, once the later fill up the W-9 and send it back to Capital Limousine, then Capital Limousine will issue a 1099-C Form to Big guy limo.

 

Exceptions:

You do not have to issue 1099-MISC forms to C- and S-corporations or to entities from whom you purchase products, such as merchandise you’ll later resell.

Payments made to contractors and vendors by debit card, credit card or through third parties like PayPal are also exempt—the IRS uses a different method to track these transactions.

 

Information Needed

Form W-9 asks for the independent contractor’s name; business name (if different); business entity (sole proprietorship, partnership, C corporation, S corporation, trust/estate, limited liability company or “other”; and the business’s tax identification number (or Social Security number, for sole proprietorships that don’t use a separate tax ID number). Form W-9 also asks the person filling it out to certify that he or she is exempt from backup withholding. Most taxpayers are exempt, but if they aren’t, the company hiring the independent contractor will need to withhold income tax from that contractor’s pay at a flat rate of 28% and send it to the IRS.

Since form W-9 requires listing a tax ID or Social Security number, both the person filling it out and the company receiving the completed form must guard the form carefully to protect against identity theft.


When to Ask for a Completed Form W-9?

It’s a good practice to request that an independent contractor provides a completed Form W-9 as soon as the business knows it will have to issue him a 1099.

But sometimes we let these requests slide until January when we’re looking over our accounting records and realize we haven’t gotten around to it.

If you must issue a 1099-MISC and don’t have a completed W-9 form on file, say something like, “Hey, I’m going to be sending out your 1099-MISC by the end of January and I realized I don’t have a W-9 from you. Could you fill out one and send it to me?” This lets the contractor know that the information on the Form W-9 will be used to generate a specific tax document.

Encourage people to send you their completed Form W-9s in a secure manner. A completed W-9 includes sensitive information such as a person’s Social Security number. This data should be kept as private and secure as possible to minimize the risk of the data falling into the wrong hands. Transmitting a completed Form W-9 as an insecure file attachment to an email is not recommended. Ask to receive it by mail, hand delivery, or as a password-protected file attachment to an email.

 

I hope this quick article will help you understand why companies request W-9 Forms from you. The best way to deal with this requirement is to download the form from the IRS website, fill it up, sign it, and have it ready, anytime you get a request, it is already there, just mail it to them, or even better, anytime you receive farm out from a company for $600 or more, just send them the form in advance, it would make you very professional.

You can download W-9 form here from the IRS website

 

Jon Ouazdi

Admin

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Special Permit for the Super Bowl event

Dear Limousine Operator,

If you are planning to bring affiliate vehicles and driver from out of town to help you with the extra business of the Super Bowl, as you all know there is a special permit that your out of town vehicles and drivers should have before they start operating in Houston City limits.

Attached is the applications needed for:

2016 Fingerprint Packet

Application Packet –  COH Drivers License – Final 12_2016 Ver 2

Special Event Permit Form – Final

Note that the City of Houston ARA department will be open on Saturday 01/21/2017 and Saturday 01/28/2017 from 10:00 AM to 5:00 Pm but you need to check in before 3:30 pm to be served.

2016 Fingerprint Packet

Application Packet – COH Drivers License – Final 12_2016 Ver 2

Special Event Permit Form – Final

If you have any questions, or you need help with some issue concerning this subject, you can call the ARA at the numbers below:

832-394-9450

832-394-8803

832-395-9632

832-394-9000

 

Jon Ouazdi

Admin

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Texas Sen. Robert Nichols proposes bill regulating Uber, Lyft at state level

Texas Sen. Robert Nichols proposes bill regulating Uber, Lyft at state level

State Sen. Robert Nichols has introduced a bill that will regulate ride-booking apps like Uber and Lyft at the state level and prevent cities from enacting their own rules for the increasingly popular apps.

Nichols, R-Jacksonville, chairs the Senate Transportation Committee. His goal, he said, is to “keep Texans moving.”

“Basically, this would override cities’ authority to regulate these kinds of apps,” he said. “If cities try to regulate these at the municipal level, that’s a regulation of trade. And they don’t have that authority.”

Nichols will likely see opposition from the Texas Municipal League and taxi companies, who will cite local control, public safety concerns and a level playing field as their concerns.

“When you go to a McDonald’s, there’s an assumption that the food is safe, and there’s an agency in place to ensure it is,” said Jamal Moharer, who owns NDMJ, the parent company of Tyler Taxi and Tyler Car Service. “In this bill, there’s nothing like that. It’s ‘buyer beware.’ It’s totally up to the consumer to do their due-diligence before they get into a vehicle. There’s no presumption of protection.”

RIDE-BOOKING

Here’s how such apps work: People with cars and spare time register as a driver with a company such as Lyft or Uber, and when they’re free, they log in. People who need a ride can then summon them, for an agreed-upon rate. The company takes a small percentage for an administrative fee.

“I went to Washington D.C. about four years ago and that’s when I first heard about Uber,” Nichols said. “My staff had the apps, and we used it the whole time we were there. I thought it was wonderful.”

But Uber and Lyft are not currently available in Austin, where the Legislature has now convened. That’s due in large part to disagreement over the rules that ride-sharing app companies have to abide by.

“I think Austin really messed up when it chased Uber out of town,” Nichols said.

The biggest sticking point between ride-booking apps and cities has been fingerprint-based background checks. Companies say their own criminal background checks are sufficient and that fingerprint-based checks (which go through FBI databases) are incomplete.

The fingerprinting issue scuttled statewide legislation in the last session, Nichols noted.

Nichols said his new bill will require background checks on drivers. Their criminal records will be checked, as well as their driving records. Drivers would be ineligible if they are on a sex offenders registry, or have had a DWI within seven years.

Moharer counters that taxicab companies have a much higher burden to meet.

“Here’s an example,” said Moharer. “The bill says that companies must have a drug and alcohol policy. That falls short of saying companies must have a drug and alcohol testing policy. By law, my company’s drivers – like any school bus driver in East Texas – has to have pre-employment drug testing and post-incident drug testing. Why should Uber be exempt from that?”

But ride-booking apps aren’t the same thing, Nichols contends.

“The cabs argue they’re not playing by the same rules,” Nichols said. “But these guys are not taxicabs. They don’t deal in cash and they don’t pick up people on the side of the road. It is truly a private contract between someone who wants to deliver people and someone who wants to be delivered. All the company does is put them together.”

Nichols said the big taxi companies fear competition.

“I don’t want to see anyone go out of business, but you don’t want to be afraid of competition, either,” he said. “It’s not an issue of safety. You call pizza delivery guys and piano tuners who go to your house. Why doesn’t the city try to regulate those? Let’s let the free market work.”

Some companies might opt for fingerprint-based background checks, and if the market responds to that higher level of screening, then so be it, Nichols said.

“Let the market work,” he said.

For his part, Moharer said he has faith in free markets, but this is a more complex issue than that.

“I will never argue against free enterprise,” Moharer said. “I am a product of free enterprise, and I live it every day. But free enterprise should never trump public safety, and that’s what I see in this bill.”

Moharer is also disappointed that Nichols didn’t reach out to him before drafting the bill.

“I operate the largest provider of this kind of transportation in his senate district,” Moharer said. “The absence of communication is discouraging.”

Although he has not yet seen the bill, Tyler Mayor Martin Heines said his tendency is to let the market work without undue interference.

“It’s Tyler’s way to allow the free market to operate, to let people make up their own minds,” he said. “And it appears, right now, that the marketplace is functioning just fine, without us.”

Nichols’ bill is Senate Bill 361.

Original post: http://www.tylerpaper.com/TP-News+Local/269452/texas-sen-robert-nichols-proposes-bill-regulating-uber-lyft-at-state-level

Jon Ouazdi

Admin

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City of Houston Approved WAV Companies

Houston WASP

Dear Limousine Operators,

The deadline for filing your contract for WAV service is January 12, 2017, and it is time to get your paper work in orders. The last few weeks we went through a turmoil of confusing information about requirements, approved vehicles, and the prices charged by these approved companies, but starting last week, things got better, and we managed to confirm some information about this issue

Below is a list of the Wheelchair Access Service Providers (WASP) that is approved by the City of Houston under Article 10. The companies are listed by pricing starting by the lowest.

 

TFT Charter Bus & Limo Services (they are not taking anymore contract for now)

$10 a month / $120 a year up to 3 cars

Tesfaye:  713-480-0039

Fikadu:  832-466-1287

Lodiso:  832-289-9685

They do not have an office, but they usually meet at the whole food in the galleria, you need to call them first to set a time to meet.

 

Houston WAV Services

https://houstonwavsvcs.com

Patrick Cox: (713) 491-2063

Monthly fee is $25 or $270 a year (you save 10% if you pay the whole year)

12335 Kingsride Ln, #390 Houston, Texas 77024

Prefer to call to set up a meeting time.

 

Luxury Paratransit of Houston

$25 a month / $300 a year

Duane: 713-636-8601

Fax: 713-636-8616

Email: duanehk@aol.com

Office: 5825 Kelly St Houston TX 77026

 

Yellow Cab

$25 a month / $300 a year

David Wells: 281-389-4730 email: dwells@houstonyellowcab.com

Nick Plazinich: 832-877-5765 nplazinich@houstonyellowcab.com

Lauren Smith: 713-428-5894 Lauren@houstonyellowcab.com

Melissa McGehee: 713-428-5836 mmcgehee@houstonyellowcab.com

Office: 1406 Hayes St Houston TX 77009

To book a trip for a wheel chair client call this number: 713-229-9999

 

 It is always recommended to call the company that you decide to go with, and verify all the information directly with them. If you have any questions or suggestions, please use the comment box below, and I will get back with you on the issue.

 

Jon Ouazdi

Admin

 

 

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City Council revised regulations to keep Uber in Houston through Super Bowl

City of Houston Regulations

 

On Dec 14, 2016 The City of Houston announced it reached an agreement with the TNC provider Uber about some of the rules that were preventing UBER from staying in Houston following months of negotiations.

The point of controversy between the City of Houston and TNC provider including Uber & Lyft was the fingerprint background checks. Lyft pulled out of the Houston market due to the background check regulations passed by the city of Houston in 2014. And Uber threatened in May to leave the city of Houston if changes to the approval process weren’t made.

Since then UBER launched a campaign in the State Capitol to urge state lawmakers to supersede the city with a Texas-wide set of rules, and Uber managed to push the state legislators to propose a bill to eliminate fingerprint background checks in Texas and prohibit cities from taxing transportation network companies, such as Uber, or their drivers, but the outcome is not there yet.

The agreement between the City of Houston and UBER is more a cease-fire mainly because of the Super Bowl, and it looks like they win the first round, which allow them to stay in Houston through the Super Bowl.

The revised rules are:

 

  • Mandatory drug test and physical examinations were eliminated.
  • A fire extinguisher has been removed, although state law mandates it.
  • No third party vehicle inspection
  • 100,000 miles limit has been removed
  • All licensed vehicles are extended to 10 years from the manufacturer date.
  • Fingerprint background checks for drivers remains in place

 

Since UBER has left Galveston over fingerprint requirements, and kicked out of Austin after a failed campaign to convince people to vote against background check, the city officials and the Mayor Turner sought alternatives to UBER, and it was decided to be Arro, another app-based company that works to dispatch taxis, Limousine and other ground transportation under the same platform, UBER is not expected to join.

According to the city officials the revised regulations will reduce the cost of permitting for TNC from around $200 to $70, and will cut the time to receive a permit to about 20 minutes which is a great outcome to UBER in opposition to the limousine companies who are paying an arm and leg for the limo permit, HAS, Valorem Tax, and now an extra tax of the WAV requirement. 

Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle (WAV) Requirement:

 

In April 2014 The City Council passed a regulation to mandate all vehicles for hire companies to provide Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle in their fleet.

The proposal started with a plan for all companies to have 20% of their fleet as a WAV to be started in January 2015. Immediately after the proposal a large protest and lobbying efforts were waived by the Limousines Association along with the major taxi companies in Houston which resulted in the creation of the WAV committee to discuss the issue with more depth and to include all the parties concerned.

The WAV committee included the Handicapped community of Houston, The Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities (MOPD), the Limousine Association (HALCA), the Taxi Industry, the Jetney representative. After months of negotiations, studies and counter proposal, the requirements were reduced to 3% of the fleet, and the option to contract was added last mainly of concern for the one vehicle operators who cannot afford to buy a WAV vehicle. The Limousine Association also required more time to be allowed to implement the changes, and this is how we end up with 2 extra years to get ready.

In January 12, 2017 all licensed ground transportation operators must contract with a licensed WAV provider company that is licensed by the City of Houston under Article 10 Chap 46.

Please be advised that a copy of the contract between you and the WAV provider must be submitted to the city no later than January 12, 2017 at 4:00 pm. Companies who fail to provide the contract to the city, will be revoked for 1 year.

In a city as large and diverse as Houston, taxis and limousines will always play a critical role in the city transportation industry, and limousine companies will always survive, because there is a niche of clients who will always require the professional chauffeured car service, and they won’t compromise the quality and the safety of their service, and we will not go down without a fight, and we will adjust our business model to rejuvenate our business, just wait and see.

If you have any additional information, or any corrections, please let me know so I can update the article.

 

Jon Ouazdi
TransGates Limousine.
Admin

 

 

 

 

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HALCA General Meeting 11/10/16

MV 1 Handicap Accessible Vehicle

General Members’ Meeting 11/10/2016

7:10pm Wes Hart, President, called meeting to order.

West presented all the board members who were present:

Ismael Abed – Vice President

Matt Assolin: Treasurer

David Dillon: Board member /  John Ferrari:  Board member  / Younes J. Ouazdi: Board member /  Josef Khanoyan: Board member

 

All the members presented themselves to the rest of the attendees.

West presents the new board members who are

Mary Vaught from Mary Insurance

Amer Hourani from Aambassador Limousine.

The City of Houston ARA Presentation:

Next Khatrine and Nickki Cooper from the City of Houston ARA stared a presentation about some of the new regulation going in effect soon, and she answered some of the questions from the members

  1. Many drivers were cited for no manifest in other locations beside the airport, and Katherine confirmed that the trip manifest is required in all locations, all the time, and not just at the airport.
  2. For the mileage limit on the car: it has been removed, so there no mileage limit when you decide to add a new vehicle to your fleet.
  3. Super Bowl temporary limo permit (HLL): To receive a temporary limo permit for a vehicle that you intend to use only for the super bowl, you need to add that vehicle to your fleet first then you can get a permit. The permit is valid for both airport and for the city, and the rate is $150.00 per vehicle, the period allowed for this temporary permit is between 01/27/2017 and 02/2017
  4. All added vehicles must undergo the inspection by the city the same way they inspect your vehicle at the end of the year, but many members raised the inconvenience associated with the inspection for many reason, the ARA will get more information about this issue to see if they can eliminated the inspection, I will keep you updated about this issue as soon as we get the updates.
  5. For drivers who will be working just for the super bowl, such as drivers coming from Dallas, San Antonio, Austin or Louisiana, they can use their Limousine Driver License as long as they undergo a fingerprint and warrant check from their original jurisdiction, if not, then they need to do the finger print with the city of Houston or from a 3rd party company that meet the city of Houston requirements, then the drivers can get the 30 days provisional license before they can work in the super bowl.
  6. Age of the cars: Sedan 6 years, after that the vehicle needs to undergo an inspection from the city approved inspection vendors: in Houston there are two of them.

Katherine also reminded the limousine operators to submit the Vehicle-For-Hire Data Submission Requirements

Vehicle-For-Hire Data Submission Requirements:

Please allow me to remind you about the Vehicle-For-Hire Data Submission Requirements(refer to the previous article for more details) as many limousine operators did not submit the data for the first and second quarters of this year.

As of August 6, 2014, all vehicle-for-hire companies (permittes and registrants) are required to submit operations data pertaining to the performance or facilitation of transportation services to the City of Houston Administration and Regulatory Affairs Department on a quarterly basis. VFH companies were allowed a waiver for 2015, but starting on April 2016, It is required to submit the data. Failure to do so may result in revoking your Limousine License, or refusal to let you renew it for 2017.

Companies must complete and submit this form on or before the following dates, covering the following time periods:

Date Due Months Covered
April 10 January, February, March
July 10 April, May, June
October 10 July, August, September
January 10 October, November, December

Data must be submitted in the approved form available at the link here: Click here to go to the Link page

Super Bowl Host Committee Presentation

They provided plenty of information about the events, the parties, the ticket pricing and more other information. There will be a 10 days of parties and events in downtown.

What you need to know as limousine operators is the following:

  1. If you want to pick up, and drop off at the super bowl, you need a permit, $150.00.
  2. There are special parking for limousine operators, please refer to map number 1, and check the blue parking 21, 22.
  3. Once you go inside the parking, you need to stay there until you pick up your client, if you leave and come back, you need to pay another $150.00, and there is no way around it.
  4. There will be a 10 days of parties and events in downtown, and many street will be blocked, please make sure that you have a map with, please download map 2 for yourself.

Gift Cards:

4 gas gift cards were donated by Dean & Drapers Insurance, and the winners were:

  1. Rachid Ben Amer from Aviation Limousine
  2. Ismael Abed from La Bresse Limousine
  3. Patrick Cortes from Evolve Limousine
  4. Dwayne Kamis from Luxuary Paratransit of Houston

Handicapped Accessible Vehicle

Beginning in 2016, companies operating 20 or more vehicles are required to have at least 3% of their fleet comprised of wheelchair accessible vehicles within one year. During each of the following five years, the percentage requirement will increase by one percent each year for a total of 8% by 2020. §

Beginning in 2017, companies operating between two and 19 vehicles must operate at least one wheelchair accessible vehicles as existing vehicles are replaced or new vehicles added. §

Beginning in 2018, companies operating only one vehicle must operate a least one wheelchair accessible vehicle as existing vehicles are replaced or new vehicles added. · All companies selecting this option must affiliate with a company that can provide dispatch service for the wheelchair accessible vehicles

 

There is a company called Luxury Paratransit of Houston that acquired the MV1 vehicle as the handicapped accessible Vehicle. Check the vehicle website here http://www.mv-1.us/

The company presented their pitch to the members of the associations, and the basic is they will charge between $125.00 and $150.00 a month to be your contractor for the handicapped accessible Vehicle (Option 2).

If you have any questions or would you like to contact him, this is his information:

Luxury Paratransit of Houston

Tel: 713-636-8601 / Fax: 713-636-8616

duanehk@aol.com

5825 Kelly St. Houston, TX 77026

Board Members Meeting:

At 8:00 pm the president west called for a private meeting for the board members intended for the election of the new members, and officers of the board.

The new members were confirmed by acclamation are Mary Vaught of Vaught Insurance

And Amer Harouni of Aambassador Limousine.

Ismael Abed voted as the new president, Matt Assolin as the new Vice President, Mary Vaught as the new treasurer.

The board agreed to change the bylaws to allow vendors to hold the secretary, and the treasurer only officer position

The meeting was adjourned by West at 9:00 pm.

Christmas Party:

The board has decided to held the Christmas party at Café Byblos Houston on December 11, 2016. the rate per person starts at $60.00. please book your group in advance at http://houstonlimos.info/subscription/ and click on Christmas Ticket, and make online.
Jon Ouazdi
Board Member

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Houston City Council Meeting about The New Citywide Dispatch App

houston-citwide-dispatch-hearing

The City of Houston has called for a meeting about the new Citywide Dispatch App. The meeting is a Special-Called Council Committee on Transportation, Technology, & Infrastructure (TTI). The committee is chaired by Council Member Larry V. Green, and Vice-Chaired by Council Member Karla Cisneros. The other committee members are as follows:

Jerry Davis, District B

Dave Martin, District E

Steven Le, District F

Greg Travis, District G

Robert Gallegos, District I

David W. Robinson, Position 2

Amanda Edwards, Position 4

 

The hearing will be held next Monday, Sept 12th at 2:00 PM, at the main City Hall Council Chamber – 901 Bagby St., 2nd Floor, and the agenda schedule is as follows.

  1. Welcome Remarks – Council Member Larry V. Green, Chair
  2. Citywide Vehicle-for-Hire Dispatch App & Proposed Amendments to Ch. 46 ·
  • Tina Paez, Director, Administration & Regulatory Affairs Dept.
  • Alex Heim, Staff Analyst, Administration & Regulatory Affairs Dept.
  1. Public Comments

The hearing will address some of the issues related to the new citywide dispatch app, including among others, rates, and logistics of the app. It is our only time to ask questions, and get informed about the decision that will be made concerning the prices charged by the black car drivers, and other logistics concerning how the app will be working, and how trips will be dispatched. If the Transportation, Technology, & Infrastructure Committee pass the proposal, it will go to the City Council for vote on Wednesday, September 14th to be implemented before the super Bowl. All the regular ARA and transportation people will be there for the power point presentation.

It is critical that you attend this meeting; the new Citywide Dispatch App is the ONLY item on the agenda. Please come early to allow time for parking and security. If you would like to speak, make sure that you sign in with the secretary as you enter the room. This App might be critical to stop the monopoly of Uber in Houston, and if implemented the right way, it will give a hard time to Uber, and will give all the ground transportation operators another option to lessen the out of the control of Uber.

If you decide to speak, please read all the questions that have been asked already in the article below, so you do not ask them again, and also go straight to your point, you only have 2 minutes, use it to the fullest.

Please spread this email around, and ask the people you know to join the Houston Limousine Association’s email list (HALCA) so you can stay informed about all events concerning your Houston Limousine business.

Thank you and see you there.

Jon Ouazdi

Admin