Taxi drivers, from left, Larry Snell, Alan Mandel, Jason Griffith and Craig Hollinsworth wait for fares at the Medford airport Tuesday. Taxi driver licenses are among many fees that will be increasing July 1 under a proposal before the Medford City Council. - Jim Craven

Taxi-fee plan among 45 proposed increases in license fees

MEDFORD — A proposed 6 percent increase in their city license fees rankles local cab drivers, who say they already have enough outside forces chipping away at their fares.

"I had a hundred-dollar ride run off on me," said Valley Cab's Jason Griffith, among several taxi drivers awaiting customers outside the Medford airport Tuesday.

The taxi license fee hikes are among roughly 45 increases that will be considered by the Medford City Council at 7 p.m. Thursday during a public hearing in the Council Chambers in City Hall.

Fellow driver Alan Mandel echoed Griffith's concerns.

"Look at the price of gas, my insurance is $4,000 a year, everybody wants a discount," said Mandel.

The increase, if approved, won't get passed along to the customer, Mandel said. Valley Cab, which charges a $3 "drop" fee (when the meter starts running) plus $2.50 per mile, bumped its mileage charge up 10 cents six weeks ago because of gas price hikes, he said.

Increases proposed for taxi drivers include: operator license fee, from $276 to $293 annually; taxi inspection fee, from $70 to $74 annually; and the one-time taxi and limo driver card, from $27 to $29.

Several finance department fees are increasing, including alarm permits, from $30 to $32 annually. Among raises in planning department fees is the application for a subdivision of up to 15 lots, from $1,200 to $1,270. Police department fees and some charges for public records retrieval and copying are also going up.

The 6 percent increase in these fees will generate $30,000 annually for the general fund. The fees will remain at the new level for two years.

"This is based on the last two years' CPI (consumer price index)," said Alison Chan, the city's finance director, adding that the last increase was in 2005. She said if approved, the fees will increase July 1.

In May, the council increased the standard business license fee from $81 to $100 for all businesses except home occupations, which pay $60. That fee also goes into effect July 1.

For a complete list of the proposed fee increases, go to on the Web and click on the mayor and council tab; then click on agenda and minutes; then click on the June 21 agenda and the red pdf symbol at the bottom of the page. The fees are on pages 33-34.

Reach reporter Meg Landers at 776-4481 or e-mail

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