After months of uncertainty, the Mankato City Council voted to replace its absolute cap on the number of taxicabs in the city with a six cab minimum for companies. Earlier this year, IJ’s Legislative Counsel Lee McGrath “wrote a letter to the city calling its ordinance antiquated, of questionable constitutionality and ‘bad public policy.’” Although it is not a complete deregulation, the city got rid of the most onerous regulation, a limit to entry.
In November, 2015, the city initially considered raising the limit by an additional three cabs, giving one to each of the three taxicab companies in the city. Darius Knox, owner of Blue Earth Taxi, was glad to have the additional cab but “opposed a proposed change that future additional licenses… would be provided only in minimum lots of three.” He argued that the proposed change would put him out of business by “forcing him to double his fleet [from three cabs to six] in one stroke.”
In a report on KEYC-TV Knox argued:
“This is America. I think we should be able to compete against each other. Home Depot and Menards… they’re right next to each other. They’re competing against each other. The people are choosing. If you want some dry wall, you choose. It should be like that for the citizens of Mankato. They should have a right to choose.”
IJ successfully intervened in a similar situation when Minneapolis’ taxi cartel challenged the city’s removal of a taxicab limit.