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Efforts To Put More Wheelchair Accessible Cabs In Philadelphia Continue

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By Pat Loeb

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - Efforts to get more wheelchair accessible taxi cabs on Philadelphia streets continue to fall short and a forum Wednesday, designed to educate cab owners on tax breaks that would help them convert their vehicles, was not much help.

About half a dozen cab owners showed up for a Parking Authority-sponsored forum with the IRS, hoping to learn what tax breaks might help pay for the expensive cab conversions, but as Checker cab owner Alex Friedman found out, there aren’t any.

“It will be not tax deductible under current IRS rules.”

Friedman is hoping the conversions will continue to be voluntary, but that depends partly on the outcome of a federal lawsuit. Disabled advocates sued the parking authority last year, when there were no wheelchair accessible cabs in the city. Now, there are seven, but the suit seeks about 800 – half the fleet. Friedman says taxi owners are hoping for a reasonable settlement.

“Without that, it’s going to be a huge turmoil for the industry.”

Efforts to put more wheelchair accessible cabs on Philadelphia streets continue but cab owners will get no help from the IRS.

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