The Little Rock Advertising and Promotion Commission Tuesday sued the parent of Uber Eats for beginning food delivery in Little Rock without obtaining the tax permit to sell prepared food as other food service delivery companies have done.
Ignoring law was a familiar tactic of Uber in its startup as a ride company driven by an app. It started operating in Little Rock without permission, though eventually reached an agreement on operation here.
Uber’s reputation for high-handed tactics drove me to avoid their service in favor of Lyft on a recent trip to San Francisco. High satisfaction.
And here’s the release on the lawsuit:
The Little Rock Advertising & Promotion Commission (A&P) has filed a lawsuit against Uber Eats in the Circuit Court of Pulaski County for the company’s failure to secure an A&P Tax Permit required for sellers of prepared food. The suit seeks an injunction against Uber Eats’ continued operation in the City of Little Rock until such time as it secures the free tax permit.
Under a City of Little Rock law, a 2% tax is assessed on all sales of prepared food, including those made through a facilitating platform. Per City law, a facilitating platform is defined as: a platform, online or offline, which (i) advertises and offers to Purchasers Lodging Services in the City, Prepared Food and Beverage prepared in the City, or both, and (ii) accepts payment from Purchasers for such Lodging Services, Prepared Food and Beverage, or both, to be furnished to the Purchaser or the Purchaser’s designated recipient.
All entities subject to the A&P tax are required to permit and remit the A&P tax. After repeated requests, Uber Eats has refused to permit and remit taxes.
According to Arkansas Secretary of State records, Uber Eats, “a wholly owned subsidiary of Uber Technologies, Inc.” is not registered to do business within the State of Arkansas and does not maintain an agent in Arkansas for service of process. LRCVB President and CEO Gretchen Hall notes that other facilitating platforms that sell prepared food, operating in Little Rock, have complied with the permitting and tax regulations, yet Uber Eats alone has held out.
“Prepared food sellers in Little Rock are mandated by law to comply with the 2% tax that Little Rock has had on the books for decades,” said Hall. “Uber Eats has failed to adhere to the law, while its competitors have done so. We work to keep a level playing field in Little Rock, and Uber Eats is no exception,” she added.
For more information on Little Rock’s tax laws and regulations, visit here.