The Pasco County Commission has increased the maximum charges that towing companies can impose for tows, storage of vehicles and certain services, any time a wrecker is called to a site.
Pasco County Attorney Jeffrey Steinsnyder told commissioners that the proposed increase came after Commissioner Christina Fitzpatrick informed the board on June 8 that the fees had not been revised in some time. She also relayed the request for an increase from the two operators on the Pasco Sheriff’s Office and Florida Highway Patrol rotation.
At the same meeting, Chief Assistant County Attorney David Goldstein said if the county was going to raise the Class A fees, the staff also should review the Class B and Class C fees, to be sure there’s not a disparity in the different levels of charges.
The new charges are consistent, to a large extent, to what Hillsborough County is charging, Steinsnyder said.
“We did bump the base rate for Class A Wreckers to $150, which is what the wrecker operator had requested, based on some information that Hillsborough County is currently reviewing,” the county attorney said.
The resolution sets the maximum rates which may be charged “on the towing of vehicles from or immobilization of vehicles on private property, removal and storage of wrecked or disabled vehicles from an accident scene or for the removal and storage of vehicles, in the event the owner or operator is incapacitated, unavailable, leaves the procurement of wrecker service to the law enforcement officer at the scene, or otherwise does not consent to the removal of the vehicle.”
Besides setting the maximum rate for Class A, Class B and Class C wrecker services, the resolution also addresses the maximum mileage rate, the hourly rate for waiting or working time on a site and maximum administrative fees.
Class A Wreckers are used to remove and/or store cars and light-duty trucks and vehicles weighing 10,000 pounds gross vehicle weight or less. The maximum towing charge is $150 and $5 per mile.
Class B Wreckers are used to remove and/or store medium duty trucks and vehicles weighing between 10,001 pounds and 16,000 pounds. The maximum charge is $170 and $5 per mile.
Class C Wreckers are used to remove and/or store vehicles weighing over 16,000 pounds gross vehicle weight. The maximum charge is $350 and $5 per mile.
Persons providing towing services on a rotation basis for third parties (such as law enforcement agencies) may be required by that third party to charge less than the rates on this schedule, or may be prohibited from charging for some of the types of services outlined by this schedule, the resolution notes.
It also says the rate schedule is not intended to serve as a minimum rate guarantee. Additionally, it spells out that the maximum base rates for Class A, B, and C wrecker services shall be adjusted up or down each year that the Consumer Price Index rises or falls.
The county administrator or designee shall publish a new fee schedule on Oct. 1 of each year.
Published August 18, 2021