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Audit Suggests Problems With Nevada Taxicab Authority

Taxi cabs in Las Vegas are fleecing customers.

That's what an audit of the Nevada Taxicab Authority said, anyway, among other things.

Governor Brian Sandoval's finance office looked into the group that oversees taxis in Clark County, and said taxis have overcharged passengers by $47 million each year.

Rick Velotta is the transportation reporter for the Las Vegas Review-Journal and has reported on the industry for many years.

He told KNPR's State of Nevada that the overcharging was connected to several different factors, including how customers were charged for using credit cards to the gasoline surcharges.

Besides the overcharging issue, the audit was also critical of the taxicab authorities own enforcement team.

"One of the things that's been a problem for several years is the culture that has evolved on the policing of taxi vehicles," he said, "The problem that the auditors found was this police force was becoming more and more like a regular police force where they were going in with guns drawn and things of that nature, while in fact all they needed to do was write some citations."

In his reporting of the audit, Velotta said that some people in the authority thought it was a politically motivated audit because everything the authority did followed the laws and was done in public.

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"There is this feeling that maybe there is some kind of animosity against the strong leadership that is going on inside the taxicab authority," he said.

The auditors also think the authority should be dissolved.

"What you have here is a state board that oversees just taxis in Clark County," Velotta said, "So one of the recommendations that was made was to turn this whole taxi industry over to county jurisdiction or perhaps to turn it over to the Nevada Transportation Authority, which regulates taxis all over the state, except for Clark County,"

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Rick Velotta, Las Vegas Review-Journal

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