MACo Associate Director Andrea Mansfield testified before the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee in opposition to SB 780 which would broaden the definition of abandoned vehicle to include stolen vehicles and provide that the registered owner of the vehicle is not liable for any towing, preservation, and storage charges incurred prior to adequate notice being provided by law enforcement.
MACo expressed concern over the practicality and fiscal effect of SB 780 on local governments. Local law enforcement agencies contract with private towers for the towing and storage of stolen vehicles. Although the bill language does not directly speak to this, MACo believes it reasonable to conclude that if the vehicle owner and secured party are not liable for the initial towing and storage charges, the responsibility for paying these charges would fall to the law enforcement agency as the contracting entity. MACo argued that local governments are not in a position to accommodate these additional costs.