HARTFORD, Conn. (CBS Connecticut) – Connecticut tow truck operators are asking the Department of Motor Vehicles to increase the rates they can charge for various non-consensual towing services.

The rates apply to services such as police-ordered removal of vehicles from a highway and towing related to illegal parking. They do not apply to towing services provided by automobile clubs.

Currently, the maximum rate is $88 plus $4.75 per mile after the first two miles for so-called “light-duty” towing. Towing and Recovery Professionals of Connecticut, an industry trade group, is proposing an increase of more than 55 percent, arguing that the current rates have been in place for nearly 11 years, while costs related to doing business continue to rise.

The industry is also asking the DMV to impose an “abandoned vehicle surcharge” of roughly $47 on all non-consensual tows and increase the rates they can charge for storing towed vehicles.

The auto insurance industry, which often has to cover towing expenses, opposes the proposed increases, calling them “unjust and unreasonable.” Insurers also contend the DMV doesn’t have the legal authority to impose a surcharge.

A public hearing on the issue is set for 9 a.m. Wednesday at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford

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