Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn, calling a $800 bill for towing a resident's truck from an apartment building parking lot "exorbitant," has asked the city to look into further regulation of the towing industry.
Calling an $800 bill a resident got when his truck was towed “exorbitant,” Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn said Wednesday the city is looking into further regulation of the towing industry.
The mayor said he asked his law department to explore whether it could set a cap on towing rates, as other cities have done, or implement other rules “to protect Seattleites from predatory towing practices and charges.”
The Seattle Times reported that Chris Swanicke, a Capitol Hill resident, was charged $800 when his truck was towed from his apartment building’s parking lot. He had to pay the bill to get his car back from Citywide Towing.
“Exorbitant towing fees as described in Danny Westneat’s Seattle Times column Wednesday morning about the young man charged $800 by Citywide Towing may be legal, but they shouldn’t be,” McGinn said.
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Cities such as Portland and Minneapolis have ordinances that cap tow rates, typically around $150 to $300. In Seattle and other Washington cities, there are no limits on what tow-truck companies can charge when removing a car from private property.