Drivers who park illegally on private property in Arlington could soon see a steeper fine, as the Arlington County board on Saturday approved a 15 percent increase in its trespass towing fee.
The storage fee of $50 a day after the first 24 hours and the drop fee of $25 will not change, said Nancy Iacomini, Chairman of the Arlington County Towing Advisory Board.
The increase keeps Arlington's trespass towing rate within range of surrounding jurisdictions, whose rates vary from a low of $80 in Alexandria to a high of $165 in Fairfax City.
John O'Neill, a member of the Towing advisory board, said that over the past decade, increased costs in the towing company have put pressure on his company, Advanced Towing, and made them think about leaving Arlington. He said the cost of storage yards and 24-hour staff required for non-consensual tows run over $20,000 per month.
Board member Walter Tejada, though, pointed out that for people in low-income areas where they're making minimum wage, a $100 towing fee is “a hard hit to take.”
Chris Zimmerman was the only member to vote against the hike, voicing concern about the sometimes arbitrary nature of “predatory towing,” and saying the board had not defined it clearly enough.
“I don't have any magical answers — we have to continue to evaluate” the issues, said Board Chairman Barbara Favola.
“The good news is that the towing ordinance is working,” she said. “Since the Board first enacted the ordinance in [July] 2006, we have seen a steady decrease in the number of complaints filed by consumers about abusive towing practices.”
The county received 28 complaints or inquiries about trespass towing between September 2007 and August 2008, a reduction of 40 percent over the same time period from the previous year. Favola noted that before the ordinance was enacted, the county continually received complaints about predatory towing and overcharging.
Sunday, May 17, 2009
Arlington, VA Aproves Towing Fee Hike
From the washingtonexaminer.com:
Posted by Cyndi Kight, Associate Editor of Towing & Recovery Footnotes at 6:05 PM