Tow truck companies in Connecticut won't get any of the state-regulated fee increases they have sought since last fall.
The Department of Motor Vehicles recently rejected the Towing and Recovery Professionals of Connecticut's request for a 42 percent hike in the base rate for towing a standard automobile (weighing 10,000 pounds or less).
The towing companies wanted permission to charge $125 per tow — up from $88. They said their operating costs had risen since their last increase, in 2007.
The increases would have applied only to so-called non-consensual tows: those requested by someone other than the car's owner, such as a police department.
Towing companies set their own rates for consensual tows.
In a decision dated April 6, a DMV officer assigned to hear the rate-increase case wrote that the towing companies "failed to provide substantial evidence to support the requested fee increase, either because insufficient evidence was provided or because ... no argument was made at all."
To appeal, the towing companies must file suit in Superior Court, according to the DMV. Their intentions were unclear Thursday. Joe Miano, co-owner of Hartford's Friendly Autobody and Towing and president of the towing companies' association, did not respond to a message.
The Insurance Association of Connecticut and the Legal Assistance Resource Center of Connecticut argued against any increase in fees or the creation of new ones.
The towing companies sought increases for several other services, as well as new fees, such as an "escort fee" for bringing people to their vehicles before payment.
The towing companies asked for a 21 percent increase for gas costs — $5.75 per mile after the second mile of a tow, up from $4.75.
Towing and Recovery Professionals of Connecticut says it represents 300 operators statewide. The state last granted rate increases in 2006; they took effect in 2007.
Friday, April 23, 2010
CT Denies Request To Raise Regulated Towing Fees By 42 Percent
Here's the story from The Hartford Courant:
Posted by Cyndi Kight, Associate Editor of Towing & Recovery Footnotes at 8:31 AM