Vehicle For Hire

ORDINANCE NO. 17- 22 - Vehicle for Hire Ordinance

WHEREAS, Chapter 2001-299, Laws of Florida, as amended, created the Hillsborough County Public Transportation Commission (“PTC”) to regulate the operation of public vehicles, such as taxicabs, limousines, handicabs and vans, upon the public highways of Hillsborough County and its municipalities and authorized the PTC to adopt rules for that purpose;

WHEREAS, the Florida Legislature adopted and, on June 6, 2017, the Governor signed into law, House Bill 647, which repealed Chapter 2001-299, Laws of Florida, as amended, and dissolved the PTC;

WHEREAS, with the repeal of Chapter 2001-299, Laws of Florida, as amended, there would be no regulation of vehicles for hire, such as taxicabs, limousines, handicabs and vans, in Hillsborough County;

WHEREAS, the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners recognizes that a lack of regulation of vehicles for hire could pose potential danger to the health, safety and welfare of the traveling public;

WHEREAS, the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners also recognizes that the public has an expectation of minimum standards of service and consumer protections in utilizing such services;

WHEREAS, Chapter 125, Florida Statutes, authorizes the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners to provide for the citizens of said County, standards which ensure their health, safety and welfare; and

WHEREAS, the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners recognizes that the public health, safety and welfare of residents of Hillsborough County will best be served by enacting a Vehicle for Hire Ordinance that provides for the regulation of vehicles for hire such as taxicabs, limousines, handicabs and vans, to ensure the quality of such services; consumer protections for users of such services; and, safety to the traveling public.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT ORDAINED BY THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, FLORIDA:

There is hereby created Chapter 10, Article XVI of the Hillsborough County Code of Ordinances and Laws, which shall be included as follows:


Ordinance 17-22 - Vehicle of Hire

ORDINANCE NO. 17- 34 Tresspass Towing, Immobilization and Rates Ordinance

WHEREAS, the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners recognizes that towing and immobilization of motor vehicles is undertaken at all hours of the day and night and can leave motorists and their passengers stranded and vulnerable;

WHEREAS, the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners also recognizes that towing and immobilization services frequently are provided without the prior consent of the vehicle owner, or under exigent circumstances that prevent negotiation of the charges, terms, and conditions for the towing or immobilization service, often resulting in disagreements and complaints between vehicle owners and towing and immobilization companies, encouraging the unilateral imposition of exorbitant rates for towing, immobilization and storage of vehicles, and other serious abuses and unfair business practices;

WHEREAS, the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners recognizes that the need of private property owners for relief from unauthorized parking must be balanced with the need to provide appropriate protection to consumers;

WHEREAS, Chapter 125, Florida Statutes, authorizes the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners to provide for the citizens of said County, standards which ensure their health, safety and welfare;

WHEREAS, Section 125.0103(c), Florida Statutes, requires that counties establish maximum fees which may be charged on the towing of vehicles from or immobilization of vehicles on private property, removal and storage of wrecked or disabled vehicles from an accident scene or for the removal and storage of vehicles, in the event the owner or operator is incapacitated, unavailable, leaves the procurement of the wrecker service to the law enforcement officer at the scene, or otherwise does not consent to the removal of the vehicle;

WHEREAS, Section 715.07(2)(a)(9)(b), Florida Statutes, has expressly recognized the power of counties to enact additional regulations including those relating to the rates which may be charged for towing of vehicles from private property; and

WHEREAS, Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners had previously adopted Ordinance No. 00-2, as amended by Ordinance No. 07-15, to provide for maximum rates which may be charged for non-consensual towing and prohibit property owners or lessees of property licensed to sell alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises from causing vehicles parked on the property to be towed from 9:00 p.m. until noon, unless the property owner has signed an order authorizing such removal;

WHEREAS, Chapter 2001-299, Laws of Florida, as amended, created the Hillsborough County Public Transportation Commission (“PTC”) and expressly authorize it to regulate the operation of wreckers, contracted for use by, through, or for any unit of local, county or state government or any person regularly engaged in towing or storing vehicles in Hillsborough County pursuant to Section 715.07, Florida Statutes, and which has been recently been repealed; and

WHEREAS, the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners finds that establishing a uniform set of regulations for business entities and other persons who engage in or intend to engage in the practice of recovering, towing, immobilizing, removing or storing vehicles and/or vessels in relation to trespass tows from private property, to include qualifications of towing and/or immobilization services and the manner in which towing and immobilization services are rendered in relation to trespass tows, and establishing maximum rates that may be charged for both non-consensual and trespass tows, are in the best interests of the health, safety and welfare of Hillsborough County residents and its visitors.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT ORDAINED BY THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, FLORIDA:

There is hereby created Chapter 50, Article VII of the Hillsborough County Code of Ordinances and Laws, which shall be included as follows:


Ordinance 17-34 - Tresspass Towing, Immobilization and Rates Ordinance