CHICAGO - Mayor Lightfoot is accusing Uber of paying off Chicago ministers and is claiming the company was trying to keep her from passing a new rideshare tax.
A spokesperson for the mayor says they won't be releasing the names of the pastors she spoke with.
This tax, if approved, would make some rideshare trips significantly more expensive. A solo Uber or Lyft, in or out of downtown, would be taxed $3 per ride, while shared rides would actually cost less.
Mayor Lightfoot is hoping these changes will ease downtown congestion and encourage people to not take solo rides downtown, which she's hoping will lead to fewer cars.
Lightfoot says Uber has put forward a proposal that would generate $54 million and increase the company’s profits.
“They offered up black ministers a $54 million one-time deal if they would convince the mayor to do away with any other kind of regulation,” said Mayor Lightfoot. “As we walked these ministers through the realities of what's actually at stake here, I think they realized they've been hoodwinked.”
The mayor added in a statement tonight from her spokesperson:
“Chicagoans have been subjected to a misinformation campaign backed by individuals who have been enlisted to do the company's bidding so Uber can increase its revenues and avoid further regulation by the city.”
In a tweet late this afternoon, a spokesperson for Uber called the mayor's accusation "categorically false.”
The city council is expected to vote on congestion tax Nov. 26.