Judge rules against Anchorage taxi reform group

Posted: Wednesday, March 26, 2003

ANCHORAGE (AP) A Superior Court judge has ruled against a group seeking a ballot initiative to open up Anchorage's taxi permit system.

Anchorage Citizens for Taxi Reform last year turned in signatures on a petition that called for a citywide vote on the issue.

The city regulates the taxi business and limits the number of new permits. Most can be sold. The Anchorage Taxicab Permit Owners Association says in a lawsuit that permits are valued at about $100,000 each.

The initiative would have made permits easily available.

But the city attorney's office said it wouldn't be legal to put the issue to a vote. Existing permits would be less valuable, and the city would be required to pay existing permit-holders for the lost value, the city argued.

Judge Sen Tan issued a judgment Friday in the city's favor.

Attorney Karen Bretz, representing the Citizens for Taxi Reform, said she expects the group will appeal the decision.

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