Miami-Dade Legislative Item
File Number: 111598
   Clerk's Official Copy   

File Number: 111598 File Type: Resolution Status: Adopted
Version: 0 Reference: R-211-11 Control: Board of County Commissioners
File Name: SUN PASS Introduced: 8/1/2011
Requester: NONE Cost: Final Action: 3/15/2011
Agenda Date: 3/15/2011 Agenda Item Number: 11A10SUBSTITUTE
Notes: THIS IS FINAL VERSION AS ADOPTED. ALSO SEE 110588. Title: RESOLUTION URGING THE FLORIDA LEGISLATURE TO IMPOSE REASONABLE LIMITS ON THE FEES THAT CAN BE CHARGED FOR ELECTRONIC TOLLING OF RENTAL CARS, FURTHER URGING THE FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION TO NEGOTIATE MORE CONSUMER-FRIENDLY AGREEMENTS RELATED TO ELECTRONIC TOLLING OF RENTAL CARS TO ENSURE THAT TOURISTS PAY REASONABLE FEES FOR ELECTRONIC TOLLING (SEE ORIGINAL ITEM UNDER FILE NO. 110538, 110588)
Indexes: SUNPASS
Sponsors: Dennis C. Moss, Prime Sponsor
  Bruno A. Barreiro, Co-Sponsor
  Lynda Bell, Co-Sponsor
  Jose "Pepe" Diaz, Co-Sponsor
  Audrey M. Edmonson, Co-Sponsor
  Carlos A. Gimenez, Co-Sponsor
  Sally A. Heyman, Co-Sponsor
  Barbara J. Jordan, Co-Sponsor
  Joe A. Martinez, Co-Sponsor
  Jean Monestime, Co-Sponsor
  Rebeca Sosa, Co-Sponsor
  Sen. Javier D. Souto, Co-Sponsor
Sunset Provision: No Effective Date: Expiration Date:
Registered Lobbyist: None Listed


Legislative History

Acting Body Date Agenda Item Action Sent To Due Date Returned Pass/Fail

County Attorney 8/1/2011 Assigned Jess M. McCarty

Board of County Commissioners 3/15/2011 11A10 SUBSTITUTE AMENDED Adopted as amended P
REPORT: Chairman Martinez asked that he be listed as a co-sponsor of this resolution. Commissioner Moss offered an amendment to place a period after the word “offer” in the sentences in Sections 1 and 2 of the “Now, Therefore” clause on handwritten pages 5 and 6, and to delete the remaining language in both sentences. Commissioner Moss noted he did not want tourists to be required to carry toll insurance plans when renting cars in Miami. He noted some rental care agencies were charging individuals who did not have a toll plan or Sunpass, a $25 administrative fee for each .75 cent toll electronically processed. He pointed out that most tourists were not familiar with the tolling systems in Florida, and were being charged unreasonable amounts in administrative fees, which was bad policy for the County’s tourism industry. He noted this resolution urges the State to impose reasonable limits on fees that can be charged by car rental agencies and to ensure that tourists pay reasonable fees for electronic tolling by license plate. Commissioners Bell, Barreiro, Diaz, Edmonson, Diaz, Gimenez, Jordan, Heyman, Martinez, Monestime, Sosa and Souto asked that they be added as co-sponsors of this resolution. Commissioner Sosa spoke in support of this item. She suggested urging the State to provide that all car rental companies be allowed to have a Sunpass for each car they rented. She expressed concern with negotiating a fee that could still result in a negative impact on visitors and tourists. Commissioner Bell provided an example of a family member receiving a bill for car rental fees and tolls that totaled much more than anticipated in the short time she drove the car. Commissioner Heyman asked that this issue be discussed at the next Regional Transportation Committee (RTC) meeting, in order to consider making a formal change in policy regarding the administrative fees assessed on tolls by car rental agencies. She pointed out that the County under the Home Rule Charter had jurisdiction over the car rental agencies housed at the Miami Intermodel Center with satellites throughout the County. Chairman Martinez suggested Commissioner Barreiro include this matter on the next RTC meeting agenda. In response to Commissioner Diaz’ question regarding whether a private entity had the legal right to impose a surcharge on a toll or fine, County Attorney Cuevas noted it depended on the provisions listed in the rental agreement. Commissioner Diaz asked the County Attorney to research and to inform the County Commission whether it was legal under State law for car rental agencies to make a profit on a toll or fine. Commissioner Moss noted some car rental agencies provide a plan that covered the tolls; however, his point was that some renters may not choose to purchase this option and could end up owing an outrageous amount due to the administrative fees assessed with the tolls. Chairman Martinez pointed out that the County Commission had jurisdiction over the signage posted at the Miami Intermodel Center (MIC), and could take action to warn visitors of these fees. Chairman Martinez asked the County Attorney to prepare legislation under Commissioner Moss’ sponsorship and his co-sponsorship, amending the signage ordinance to require that signs be posted at the Miami Intermodal Center (MIC) advising visitors that Car Rental agencies charged administrative fees for processing tolls. He also asked that this legislation be enforced as soon as possible. Commissioner Martinez noted he would waive the BCC Rules of Procedure to allow this item to be placed on the next BCC meeting agenda following the committee review. Commissioner Souto asked the County Attorney to prepare legislation under his sponsorship requiring any matter that might negatively impact the county’s tourism industry to be submitted to the County Commission for consideration or discussion. Hearing no further discussion, the Board adopted the foregoing proposed resolution as amended to place a period after the word “offer” in the sentences under “Section 1.” and “Section 2.” of the “Now, Therefore” clause on handwritten pages 5 and 6; and, to delete the remainder of both sentences.

Legislative Text


TITLE
RESOLUTION URGING THE FLORIDA LEGISLATURE TO IMPOSE REASONABLE LIMITS ON THE FEES THAT CAN BE CHARGED FOR ELECTRONIC TOLLING OF RENTAL CARS, FURTHER URGING THE FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION TO NEGOTIATE MORE CONSUMER-FRIENDLY AGREEMENTS RELATED TO ELECTRONIC TOLLING OF RENTAL CARS TO ENSURE THAT TOURISTS PAY REASONABLE FEES FOR ELECTRONIC TOLLING

BODY
WHEREAS, in 2007, the Florida Department of Transportation through Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise began entering into a series of agreements with major rental car companies to allow rental cars to go through SunPass and other electronic toll lanes by recording the license plate and then billing the renter; and
WHEREAS, some agreements provided that the renter would be directly charged the actual cost of all tolls plus a $2.50 per day administrative fee up to a maximum of $10 per month; and
WHEREAS, under these agreements, the toll charges and administrative fees automatically begin being imposed when the renter goes through the first electronic toll, and the renter receives a separate charge on his or her credit card after the fact for the total of all toll charges incurred plus the administrative fees; and
WHEREAS, other agreements provided that the renter has the option, at the time the car is first rented, of paying a flat fee of $5.95 per rental day or $27.95 weekly, which includes unlimited tolls and all administrative fees; and
WHEREAS, under this latter option, if the renter chooses not to pay the $5.95 daily or $27.95 weekly fee to cover all tolls and then goes through an electronic toll, rental car companies are charging the renter the cost of tolls plus an excessive administrative fee of as much as $25 per toll; and
WHEREAS, tourists visiting Miami-Dade County may be from an area that doesn’t have electronic tolling and may not be familiar with how electronic tolling works; and
WHEREAS, if a tourist opts not to pay the $5.95 daily or $27.95 weekly fee to cover all tolls and then goes through ten (10) electronic tolls, he or she could later receive a bill for as much as $250 plus the cost of tolls; and
WHEREAS, such administrative charges are excessive in light of the underlying actual tolls and far exceed any actual administrative cost that may be involved; and
WHEREAS, tourism is one of the most fundamental industries underpinning Miami-Dade County’s economy, and it is important that tourists who visit Miami-Dade County leave with a positive image of our community; and
WHEREAS, the current electronic tolling arrangement has the possibility of harming the positive image of our community by imposing excessive administrative fees for tolls; and
WHEREAS, the Florida Legislature should impose reasonable limits on the fees that can be charged to individuals renting cars and using electronic tolling, or alternatively, the Florida Department of Transportation should negotiate more consumer-friendly agreements related to electronic tolling and rental cars that are more aligned with the actual administrative costs of processing tolls to ensure that tourists and visitors pay reasonable fees for electronic tolling in rental cars,
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA, that this Board:
Section 1. Urges the Florida Legislature to impose reasonable limits on the fees that can be charged to individuals renting cars and using electronic tolling, and in particular to limit the administrative fees that can be charged for tolls when the renter opts not to pay for daily or weekly plans for tolls that rental car companies offer.
Section 2. Urges the Florida Department of Transportation to negotiate more consumer-friendly agreements related to electronic tolling and rental cars, and in particular to limit the administrative fees that can be charged for tolls when the renter opts not to pay for daily or weekly plans for tolls that rental car companies offer.
Section 3. Directs the Clerk of the Board to transmit certified copies of the resolution to the Governor, Senate President, House Speaker, the Chair and Members of the Miami-Dade State Legislative Delegation and the Secretary of the Florida Department of Transportation.
Section 4. Directs the County's state lobbyists to advocate for the legislation and action set forth in Sections 1 and 2 above, and authorizes and directs that the 2011 state legislative package be amended to include this item.



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