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Bay County towing rates rising first time in 12 years (FL)


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PANAMA CITY — Bay County commissioners have approved a hike in towing rates after being left untouched for 12 years.


Discount Towing's manager, Mark Harris, said he brought the rates issue to the attention of county officials. The towing rates for vehicles on rights of way have been the same since 2008 and the county decided to mirror what Escambia County has created.


The rate for Class A vehicles will be $100, Class B will be $200, and Class C will be $300. Previously Class A was $87.50 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and $97.50 after hours, and Class B was $115 during the day and $125 at night, and Class C was $220 and $4 per mile past 10 miles. Class A consists of regular passenger vehicles; Class B, garbage trucks, buses, etc.; and Class C, tractor-trailers. 


Once the towing rates were brought to the county's attention during the summer, officials started to look into the issue.


"Their cost of business has definitely gone up since 2008, so we had staff study communities and counties all over the Panhandle and coastal communities throughout Florida," County Commission Chairman Phillip Griffitts said. "Today, we did approve a rate structure change and put in a resolution form where now every year we will take a look at those rates and make sure they're comparable and in line with the towing industry."


Griffitts said it's something county officials should have addressed years ago and recognized that they were late in doing so. 

The towing rates are mostly for accidents in which the Florida Highway Patrol or the Bay County Sheriff's Office has to call in a tow truck to haul off a vehicle. It's also applied to people who park illegally, but not for people who are parked on private property and need to get their vehicle towed.


For Discount Towing, its office manager said the rate increase will help business going forward.


"The cost of insurance and expenses to keep the trucks on the road, paperwork and stuff that has to be done," said Lymie Weeks of Discount Towing. "We're happy to see that it's on the books and talked about."


Harris said he was surprised that he was the only one from a towing truck company at the meeting, but is excited that the vote worked out in their favor.



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Charging chump-change to put your lives on the line doesn't make sense.


Congratulations Mark for your efforts to apply for a rate increase. I salute all tow companies that apply for rate raises with LE ... if ya' don't ask ... ya' don't get. Right? 



Randall C. Resch

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It might be just me, however after years of watching rates these still seem low by today's standard. I would say the rate increase was successful if they had be 20 to 25 percent higher.


Not sure how many would agree and of course those rates would still be to low in the northeast.

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