A recent Sun-Times editorial suggested that the car rental industry is trying to limit the growth of online car rental platforms. Let me set the record straight.
We support car sharing, which is not just the purview of Silicon Valley companies like Turo, but has been a longtime common practice for most major vehicle rental companies. What we don’t support are loopholes that exempt online car rental platforms such as Turo from common-sense regulations at the expense of consumers and taxpayers.
These legal gray areas caused havoc in Uptown, where one vehicle owner parked a fleet of 40 short-term rental cars on city streets, making parking for residents next to impossible to find. As the alderman sought a solution from the city, he was told state lawmakers would first need to put in place a set of rules for these online car rental platforms.
That is just one example of what lawmakers were trying to rectify with SB 2641 — not limit the growth of car rental platforms, nor increase taxes on everyday people looking to make extra money by renting out their vehicles. Any claims to the contrary not only are false, but actually part of an intentional misinformation campaign to confuse policy leaders. Rather, the legislation would have required these companies to be held to reasonable safety and consumer protection standards, as well as to collect taxes needed to offset the cost of maintaining roads all vehicles use.
Stakeholders are now working toward a compromise, but if the only way a business can grow is by avoiding taxes, then that’s not innovation. That’s just cheating. As a result, I encourage lawmakers and all parties involved to reach an agreement that adequately protects local and out-of-town car rental and car sharing customers throughout Illinois.
William N. Plamondon III, president, American Car Rental Association
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Common sense on Christmas songs
I completely support women. However, I also favor common sense and reasonable approaches to issues. I doubt that anyone associated a possible date rape with the song “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” when it was written 70 years ago. A little common sense will go a long way.
If not, then maybe we need to evaluate other songs of the season. Frosty the Snowman needs to go. Think about it: “He led them down the streets of town” — what did Frosty have in mind for those kids? Lucky they ran into a cop then, right? And what about Santa? He forced those reindeer to travel around the world in 24 hours. Was that severe cruelty to animals? And isn’t Santa a stalker — “He sees you when you’re sleeping, he knows when you’re awake?” Maybe we need to start clothing animals as well, instead of letting them run around indecently naked in our zoos?
I know it’s silly, but maybe the original objection to a holiday song crosses that same line.
Daniel Pupo, Orland Park
Good riddance to Ryan Zinke
Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke will be thankfully exiting his office at the close of December due to an array of job-related ethics issues. His responsibility was to protect our public lands, national monuments, wilderness areas and pristine nature havens. Instead, he decided to ally himself with miners, hunters, drillers, polluters, ranchers and marauders to decimate our lands, forests, wildlife habitats and endangered species. In approximately two years, Zinke did irreparable harm to nature, conservation, wildlife and imperiled creatures.
Brien Comerford, Glenview