Alaska lawmakers on car-sharing: If it moves, tax it (HB102)

House Bill 102 would give the Alaska Department of Revenue the power to collect taxes on car-sharing activities, which would turn peer-to-peer deals into the same taxable transaction as car rental companies such as Hertz, Avis, or Rent-a-Wreck.

Car rental companies in Alaska collect an extra 10 percent from customers and then remit that to the State of Alaska as tax. Those companies don’t want individuals to be able to “rent” their cars from just anybody without also paying that tax.

Peer-to-peer car sharing is a technology-based and free market is a free market innovation that allows people who have cars to share them for an hour, for a day, or longer to those who don’t have cars.

Or perhaps share is not the right word. Those who want to tax the transactions say that if you’re sharing something, you wouldn’t charge for it. There’s the rub.