Mayor Kelly vetoes tow truck rate rise for Chattanooga
Council voted to more than double the max limit companies can charge you
CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – Mayor Tim Kelly has vetoed an ordinance that would have more than doubled the cost of a tow in Chattanooga.
Last week, the City Council approved a new maximum rate of $250 for a passenger vehicle during the day and $275 during nights and weekends.
The city regulates what a tow company can charge if they are on the city “call list” for break-downs and parking violations.
Mayor Kelly proposed lower limits of $200 and $215.
A statement from the mayor says his proposal would be “an adjustment that accommodates the towing industry’s increasing costs, while not overcharging Chattanoogans for a service that has not fundamentally changed since 2004.”
Right now, tow companies are limited to a maximum charge of $125 and $135.
“While the $50 difference in my A Class rate proposal is not dramatically far apart from the Council’s proposed ordinance, that difference really matters to working-class Chattanoogans struggling with inflation themselves — especially when a towing fee is almost always an unexpected expense,” Mayor Kelly said in his Dec. 13 letter informing City Council of his veto. “Again, I understand the need to adjust these rates for inflation, but adding an extra 25 to 27 percent to an inflation-adjusted rate is not a proposal that I can support.”