TDLR Proposes Administrative Rules - Vehicle Storage Facilities
Chapter 85. Vehicle Storage Facilities
Proposal Filed: July 30, 2021 – Published in the Texas Register: August 13, 2021
Deadline for Public Comment: September 13, 2021
Underlined text is new language.
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The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (Department) proposes amendments to existing rules at 16 Texas Administrative Code (TAC), Chapter 85, §85.722, regarding the Vehicle Storage Facilities Program. These proposed changes are referred to as “proposed rule.”
EXPLANATION OF AND JUSTIFICATION FOR THE RULE
The rules under 16 TAC Chapter 85 implement Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 2303, Vehicle Storage Facilities.
The proposed rule addresses the maximum amounts for vehicle storage and impoundment fees that may be charged by a vehicle storage facility company. The proposed rule increases the allowable vehicle storage facility impoundment fee and daily storage fees in accordance with changes in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) during the preceding state fiscal biennium, as authorized by statute. Pursuant to Texas Occupations Code §2303.1552, the Texas Commission of Licensing and Regulation (Commission) is authorized to adjust the vehicle impound and storage fees based upon changes in the CPI not later than November 1 of every odd-numbered year. The proposed rule, based upon analysis of the CPI during the preceding state fiscal biennium by Department staff, is necessary to comply with the statutory requirements to implement changes in the vehicle impound and storage fees for 2021.
The proposed rule was presented to and discussed by the Towing and Storage Advisory Board at its meeting on July 29, 2021. The Advisory Board did not make any changes to the proposed rule. The Advisory Board voted and recommended that the proposed rule be published in the Texas Register for public comment.
The proposed rule amends §85.722(d) by reflecting the new maximum amounts for daily storage fees that may be charged by a vehicle storage facility in connection with receipt and storage of a vehicle, as authorized by statute.
The proposed rule amends §85.722(e) by reflecting the new maximum amount for the vehicle impoundment fee that may be charged by a vehicle storage facility in connection with impoundment and custody of a vehicle, as authorized by statute.
FISCAL IMPACT ON STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT
Tony Couvillon, Policy Research and Budget Analyst, has determined that for each year of the first five years the proposed rules are in effect, there are no estimated additional costs or reductions in costs to state or local government as a result of enforcing or administering the proposed rules.
Mr. Couvillon has determined that for each year of the first five years the proposed rule is in effect, there is no estimated increase or loss in revenue to the state or local government as a result of enforcing or administering the proposed rules.
LOCAL EMPLOYMENT IMPACT STATEMENT
Mr. Couvillon has determined that the proposed rule will not affect the local economy, so the agency is not required to prepare a local employment impact statement under Government Code §2001.022.
Mr. Couvillon also has determined that for each year of the first five-year period the proposed rule is in effect, the public benefit will be putting consumers on notice of the increase in fees that would be incurred if a towed vehicle is stored at a VSF. The proposed rule updates the allowable fees for storage and impoundment of vehicles based on the percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index during the previous state fiscal biennium, as authorized by statute. The increase in fees allows vehicle storage facilities to keep pace with inflation and current costs for operating such a facility.
PROBABLE ECONOMIC COSTS TO PERSONS REQUIRED TO COMPLY WITH PROPOSAL
Mr. Couvillon has determined that for each year of the first five-year period the proposed rule is in effect, there will be additional costs to persons who are required to comply with the proposed rules. The statutorily authorized increase in the amount of fees allowed to be charged for vehicle storage and impoundment would have an increased economic cost on those who pay to have a stored vehicle released from a vehicle storage facility. However, the maximum additional amount a person would be required to pay is $0.78 or $1.08 on the first day, depending on the size of the vehicle, and $0.39 or $0.69 each day afterward. This small increase would have a minimal effect, if at all.
FISCAL IMPACT ON SMALL BUSINESSES, MICRO-BUSINESSES, AND RURAL COMMUNITIES
There will be no adverse economic effect on small businesses, micro-businesses, or rural communities as a result of the proposed rules. Since the agency has determined that the proposed rule will have no adverse economic effect on small businesses, micro-businesses, or rural communities, preparation of an Economic Impact Statement and a Regulatory Flexibility Analysis, as detailed under Texas Government Code §2006.002, are not required.
ONE-FOR-ONE REQUIREMENT FOR RULES WITH A FISCAL IMPACT
The proposed rule does not have a fiscal note that imposes a cost on regulated persons, including another state agency, a special district, or a local government. Therefore, the agency is not required to take any further action under Government Code §2001.0045.
GOVERNMENT GROWTH IMPACT STATEMENT
Pursuant to Government Code §2001.0221, the agency provides the following Government Growth Impact Statement for the proposed rules. For each year of the first five years the proposed rules will be in effect, the agency has determined the following:
1. The proposed rule does not create or eliminate a government program.
2. Implementation of the proposed rule does not require the creation of new employee positions or the elimination of existing employee positions.
3. Implementation of the proposed rule does not require an increase or decrease in future legislative appropriations to the agency.
4. The proposed rule does not require an increase or decrease in fees paid to the agency.
5. The proposed rule does not create a new regulation.
6. The proposed rule does not expand, limit, or repeal an existing regulation.
7. The proposed rule does not increase or decrease the number of individuals subject to the rules’ applicability.
8. The proposed rule does not positively or adversely affect this state's economy.
TAKINGS IMPACT ASSESSMENT
The Department has determined that no private real property interests are affected by the proposed rules and the proposed rule does not restrict, limit, or impose a burden on an owner’s rights to his or her private real property that would otherwise exist in the absence of government action. As a result, the proposed rule does not constitute a taking or require a takings impact assessment under Government Code §2007.043.
Comments on the proposed rule may be submitted electronically on the Department’s website at https://ga.tdlr.texas.gov:1443/form/gcerules ; by facsimile to (512) 475-3032; or by mail to Vanessa Vasquez, Legal Assistant, Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation, P.O. Box 12157, Austin, Texas 78711. The deadline for comments is 30 days after publication in the Texas Register.
The proposed rule is proposed under Texas Occupations Code, Chapters 51 and 2303, which authorize the Texas Commission of Licensing and Regulation, the Department’s governing body, to adopt rules as necessary to implement these chapters and any other law establishing a program regulated by the Department.
The statutory provisions affected by the proposed rule are those set forth in Texas Occupations Code, Chapters 51 and 2303. No other statutes, articles, or codes are affected by the proposed rule.
§85.722. Responsibilities of Licensee--Storage Fees and Other Charges.
(a) For the purposes of this section, "VSF" includes a garage, parking lot, or other facility that is:
(1) owned by a governmental entity; and
(2) used to store or park at least 10 vehicles each year.
(b) The fees outlined in this section have precedence over any conflicting municipal ordinance or charter provision.
(c) Notification fee.
(1) A VSF may not charge a vehicle owner or authorized representative more than $50 for notification under these rules. If a notification must be published, and the actual cost of publication exceeds 50% of the notification fee, the VSF may recover the additional amount of the cost of publication. The publication fee is in addition to the notification fee.
(2) If a vehicle is removed by the vehicle owner or authorized representative within 24 hours after the date the VSF receives the vehicle, notification is not required by these rules.
(3) If a vehicle is removed by the vehicle owner or authorized representative before notification is sent or within 24 hours from the time VSF receives the vehicle, the VSF may not charge a notification fee to the vehicle owner.
(d) Daily storage fee. A VSF may charge $20 for each day or part of a day for storage of a vehicle that is 25 feet or less in length and may charge $35 for each day or part of a day for storage of a vehicle that exceeds 25 feet in length, subject to a biennial adjustment as set forth in Texas Occupations Code §2303.1552(b)(1).
(1) Per the 2021 [
2019 ] biennial adjustment, the maximum amount that a VSF may charge for a daily storage fee is as follows:
(A) Vehicle that is 25 feet or less in length: $21.03 [
(B) Vehicle that exceeds 25 feet in length: $36.80 [
(2) A daily storage fee may be charged for any part of the day, except that a daily storage fee may not be charged for more than one day if the vehicle remains at the VSF less than 12 hours. In this paragraph a day is considered to begin and end at midnight.
(3) A VSF that has accepted into storage a vehicle registered in this state shall not charge for more than five days of storage fees until a notice, as prescribed in §85.703 of these rules, is mailed or published.
(4) A VSF that has accepted into storage a vehicle not registered in Texas shall not charge for more than five days of storage before the date the request for owner information is sent to the appropriate governmental entity or to the private entity authorized by that governmental entity to obtain title, registration, and lienholder information using a single vehicle identification inquiry.
(5) A VSF shall charge a daily storage fee after notice, as prescribed in §85.703, is mailed or published for each day or portion of a day the vehicle is in storage until the vehicle is removed and all accrued charges are paid.
(e) Impoundment fee. A VSF may charge a vehicle owner or authorized representative an impoundment fee of $20, subject to a biennial adjustment as set forth in Texas Occupations Code §2303.1552(b)(1). Per the 2021 [
2019 ] biennial adjustment, the maximum amount that a VSF may charge for an impoundment fee is $21.03 [ $20.64 ]. If the VSF charges a fee for impoundment, the written bill for services must specify the exact services performed for that fee and the dates those services were performed.
(f) Governmental or law enforcement fees. A VSF may collect from a vehicle owner or authorized representative any fee that must be paid to a law enforcement agency, the agency's authorized agent, or a governmental entity.
(g) Additional fees. A VSF may not charge additional fees related to the storage of a vehicle other than fees authorized by these rules or a nonconsent-towing fee authorized by Texas Occupations Code, §2308.2065.
REVIEW BY AGENCY COUNSEL
The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the proposal and found it to be within the state agency’s legal authority to adopt.
Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State, on July 30, 2021.
Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation