Illegally parking at a friend’s apartment complex “just for a minute” now has an even more expensive consequence.
The Gainesville City Commission voted 5-2 to raise the rates of roam towing at its last meeting, which raised the rate from $76 to $100 for light-duty vehicles.
Mayor Ed Braddy and Commissioner Randy Wells voted against the measure.
This is the first significant rate hike since 1994, when the roam towing rate was $70, Commissioner Todd Chase said.
Since then, towing companies argued, expenses have gone up.
At the meeting, UF Student Body President Cory Yeffet spoke against the decision, which was made in the last five minutes of the commission meeting.
Yeffet said he would support raising towing fees if it were backed up with financial data, but he called this jump “unsubstantiated and arbitrary.”
He voiced concern that rising fees would “increase predatory practices” of local roam towing companies.
“The students definitely feel that $76 is pretty high as is,” he said. “Especially compared to the cost of getting your car towed regularly if it breaks down.”
UF’s Student Senate has been vocal against towing fee raises in the past. They passed a resolution against rising fees in 2012, when the tow rate hike was last discussed, according to Alligator archives.
[A version of this story ran on page 1 on 7/1/2014 under the headline "Roam towing fee to rise"]
Alex Harris is the online editor of the Alligator and a 22-year-old journalism and sustainability studies senior. She likes cooking, spending time in the sun and making convincing cat noises.