- Associated Press - Wednesday, January 18, 2017

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - Uber and Lyft are cheering Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposal to allow the ride-hailing businesses to expand into upstate New York.

The Democratic governor included a provision in his budget that will authorize the two companies to move into cities such as Buffalo, Rochester, Albany and Syracuse. State law now prohibits the companies from operating outside the New York City area.

The taxi industry says Cuomo’s proposal is a bad deal for consumers because it wouldn’t require drivers to be fingerprinted.

Uber says it already conducts its own driver background checks and calls the fingerprinting issue a red herring brought up by cab owners.

Cuomo’s plan would impose a 5.5 percent tax on Uber and Lyft fares. Uber rides in New York City are now subject to an 8.875 percent tax.

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