Longview, TX — It is Longview’s first proposed rate increase in nearly four years for non-consensual tows, but towing companies say a 10 percent raise falls flat.
Tonight, the City Council might amend local ordinances and increase fees that towing companies may charge customers whose vehicles are towed after an arrest, wreck, citation or other event in which a non-consensual tow is needed.
Assistant City Manager Chuck Ewings is asking for a $12, or 10 percent, increase on light duty tows to $132; and a $30, or a 10.9 percent, increase on heavy-duty tows to $305.
“After four years, that is all they are offering to us? That’s nothing,” said Robbie Duncan, owner of Duncan’s Towing on West Loop 281. He said fuel costs have increased 36 percent since Longview’s last rate increase.
“Since fuel has gotten so high, $12 is not a lot of extra money,” Duncan said.
Ewings, through city spokesman Shawn Hara, said Duncan complained about fees that were too low but did not provide information other than the percentage of cost increases. No information about how the increases directly affect the current rate were presented by Duncan, which led city staff to make the 10 percent recommendation, Ewings said.
“This translates into a 30 percent increase in the fee since 2007,” Ewings said.