Support package for taxi and hire car licence holders

In August 2016, the Victorian Government announced comprehensive reforms to the taxi, hire car and ride-share industry that will create a level playing field for all industry participants once all of the changes are in place in 2018.

The Victorian Government recognises the reforms will have a range of impacts on existing licence holders, and is providing financial support to those affected during the transition period.

The Government is funding a support package, which includes:

  • Transition assistance payments to perpetual and fixed term licence holders where the licence fee was paid upfront, for up to four licences per eligible licence holder
  • Rebates to existing annual fee paying licence holders whose licence fees were paid or due to be paid in 2016-17 financial year and any future renewals
  • A Fairness Fund to provide targeted support for licence holders that may experience financial hardship as a result of the changes, and to support the provision of accessible services.

Fairness Fund

The Victorian Government's Fairness Fund will provide targeted financial support to taxi and hire car licence holders who need it most.

Applications to the Victorian Government's Fairness Fund have now closed and applications are being assessed against the eligibility criteria as quickly as possible.

Licence holders will begin learn to the outcome of their applications from July 2017. Each applicant will be notified of the outcome of their application when it is finalised..

Industry Transition Assistance

Licence holders will also have access to an Industry Transition Assistance package from 2017.

Assistance payments

Transition assistance payments will be paid to eligible licence holders up to a total of four licences for each licence holder. The payments will be made after the Government's first stage of legislative reform becomes law.

Transition assistance payments will be provided to the entity that is registered with the Taxi Services Commission as the licence holder. If an entity owns more than four licences in total, and the licences are different types, the total payment will be calculated in relation to the four highest value licences.

To be eligible for the payments below, the licence holder must:

  • have held the licence on 15 August 2016, and
  • continue to hold the licence until 14 July 2017.

Possible exceptions to this may include where:

  • licence ownership has changed due to a bequest or court order;
  • a hire car or special purpose vehicle licence was applied and paid for prior to 15 August 2016;
  • a licence transfer application was received by the Taxi Services Commission prior to 15 August 2016; or
  • a Greater Metropolitan Taxi Licence Release (GMTLR) licence has been converted.

The Taxi Services Commission will contact licence holders in 2017 with further details about transition assistance payments.

Exemption from social security income tests

The Victorian Government applied to the Department of Social Services for an exemption for transition assistance payments from the social security income test.

On 29 August 2017, the Department of Social Services advised that transition assistance payments to eligible taxi and hire car licence holders will be exempt from social security income tests.

Every person's individual financial circumstances are different and we encourage licence holders receiving a payment to contact Centrelink for more information or to seek independent financial advice.

For more information read the Social Security (Exempt Lump Sum – Victorian Industry Transition Assistance Payment) Determination 2017.

Taxi licence types Expiry Zone First licence Second, third and fourth licence
M50 – Metro Taxi WAT Perpetual Metropolitan $100,000 $50,000
M51 – Metro Taxi WAT Perpetual Metropolitan $100,000 $50,000
M80 – Metro Taxi WAT Perpetual Metropolitan $100,000 $50,000
MT – Metro Taxi Perpetual Metropolitan $100,000 $50,000
UT – Urban Taxi prior 2003 Perpetual Urban $100,000 $50,000
UT5 – Urban Taxi WAT Perpetual Urban $100,000 $50,000
UT5 – Urban Taxi WAT prior 2003 Perpetual Urban $100,000 $50,000
RT – Regional Taxi prior 2003 Perpetual Regional $50,000 $25,000
RT5 – Regional WAT prior 2003 Perpetual Regional $50,000 $25,000
RT5 – Regional WAT Taxi Perpetual Regional $50,000 $25,000
C50 – Country WAT Perpetual Country $15,000 $7500
C50 – Country WAT prior 2003 Perpetual Country $15,000 $7500
CT – Country Taxi Perpetual Country $15,000 $7500
CT – Country Taxi prior 2003 Perpetual Country $15,000 $7500
MF – Metropolitan Fixed Term Fixed Term Metropolitan $33,750 $16,875
UF – Urban Fixed Term Fixed Term Urban $33,750 $16,875
MF5 – WAT Metropolitan Fixed Term Fixed Term Metropolitan Annual fee rebate
UF5 – Urban WAT Fixed Term Fixed Term Urban
UT5F – Urban Taxi WAT Fixed Term Fixed Term Urban
RT5F – Regional WAT Fixed Term Fixed Term Regional
RTF – Regional Taxi Fixed Term Fixed Term Regional
C50F – Country WAT Fixed Term Fixed Term Country
CTF – Country Taxi Fixed Term Fixed Term Country
MTA – Metro Taxi Annual Annual Metropolitan
MTA5 – Metro Taxi WAT Annual Annual Metropolitan
UTA – Urban Taxi Annual Annual Urban
UTA5 – Urban Taxi WAT Annual Annual Urban
RTA – Regional Taxi Annual Annual Regional
RTA5 – Regional Taxi WAT Annual Annual Regional
CTA – Country Taxi Annual Annual Country
CTA5 – Country Taxi WAT Annual Annual Country
PS – Peak Service Peak Service Metropolitan
Hire car licence types Expiry Zone First licence Second third and fourth licence
MH – Metropolitan Hire Car Licence Perpetual Metro/Urban $25,000 $12,500
CH – Country Hire Car Licence Perpetual Regional/Country $12,500 $6250
SV – Special Purpose Vehicle Licence Perpetual NA $1250 $625

Rebates to annual and peak service licence holders

Renewals of existing licences

Existing annual fee paying licence holders (including peak service licence holders and fixed term licence holders who pay an annual instalment) with annual licence fee renewal payments due from 1 July 2016 onwards will be provided with a rebate for the license fee over the transition period.

If a licence holder has already paid their annual fee since 1 July 2016, they will be contacted by the Taxi Services Commission shortly and a rebate will be arranged.

If a licence holder has received a renewal notice but has not yet paid the renewal fee, an updated notice will be provided shortly which provides the rebate.

If a licence is due to be renewed during the transition period, licence holders will receive an invoice reflecting the application of the rebate when the licence is due to be renewed.

New annual licences

If a licence holder has purchased a new annual licence between 1 July 2016 and 23 August 2016, a rebate will also be made available to the licence holder for this licence. The rebate does not apply to the licence application fee. The licence holder will also be eligible for a rebate when the licence is due to be renewed.

Rebates do not apply to administrative fees associated with licence renewal. These payments will still need to be made to the Taxi Services Commission to ensure the licence remains valid.

There is no limitation on the number of licences a licence holder can receive the rebate for.

Taxi Reform Hardship Fund

The Victorian Government established the $4 million Taxi Reform Hardship Fund to assist perpetual taxi licence owners experiencing severe financial distress as a result of reforms following the 2012 Taxi Industry Inquiry.

Applications to the Fund have now closed, and all applicants have now been advised of the outcome of their application.

Page last reviewed on 30 August 2017

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