PERMANENT CAP ON DELIVERY CHARGES

By Bob Katzen

The Senate 8-31, rejected an amendment that would permanently cap delivery fees by third parties like Grubhub, DoorDash and Uber Eats at 15 percent of the order price. The amendment would replace the current law which lifts the cap on the day the governor lifts the pandemic emergency.

“We finally addressed the issue of capping third-party delivery fees to prevent price-gouging and pandemic-related windfalls in January of this year, ten months into the state of emergency as our restaurant industry was hanging on for dear life,” said sponsor Sen. DiZoglio. “We know that even when the state of emergency comes to an end and businesses are allowed to fully reopen that recovering from the losses incurred during this strange chapter of our history will take a very long time. We need to make permanent the cap on the amount that third-party delivery services are able to charge local restaurants at 15 percent of the purchase price of the online order. The need to regulate these fees will persist as delivery services continue to play an ever-increasing role in our lives post-pandemic. If we agree these delivery services should not be able to price gouge during the pandemic, we should agree they should not be able to price gouge once the state of emergency is lifted.”

“I have been a strong supporter of measures to support the restaurant industry during the COVID-19 pandemic, including capping delivery fees charged to restaurants and allowing limited cocktails to go,” said Sen. Cindy Creem (D-Newton). “These measures are currently in place and will remain in place throughout the duration of the governor’s declaration of a public health emergency … I did not believe the underlying bill—focused on time-sensitive tax relief to businesses and individuals—was the appropriate legislation to consider these important issues, and I look forward to considering them as separate legislation after the public hearing process.”

(A “Yes” vote is for making the cap permanent. A “No” vote is against making it permanent.)

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