On Wednesday the City Council’s Government Performance and Finance Committee today voted 3-0 to pass consumer protection legislation I sponsored to cap fees for impound tows off private property. The legislation now moves to the Full Council on Monday the 24th.
The legislation, originally sent to the Council by Mayor McGinn, would place a limit of $183 per hour for the first hour of an impound tow off private property, and $130 for any additional time. It also limits storage rates to $15.50 for up to 12 hours.
This legislation protects consumers by setting a fair maximum rate for impounds off private property. It is reasonable to charge for illegal parking on private property, however, people shouldn’t have to pay exorbitant fees to recover their vehicle. The Mayor and Council collaborated in crafting and passing this legislation.
Currently, there are no legal limits on what towing companies can charge for tows off private property. Impounds off City streets are negotiated with the Seattle Police Department.
Implementation is planned for January, 2013. A Full Council vote is anticipated for Monday, September 24.
I first wrote about this issue late last year, and gave an update in May.