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Florida association doesn't appreciate scrap tire fund cuts

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The Florida Automotive Trades Association (FATA) is not supporting the Florida legislature’s efforts to cut the Solid Waste Management Trust Fund budget.

Tire fees, collected by Florida tire dealers from their customers, fund the budget, which pays for state tire disposal, recycling and education programs.

Florida tire dealers collect approximately $23 million in fees annually, according to Jill Mondo, the FATA's executive director.

"Not only are tire dealers collecting money for purposes which have nothing to do with tires, but their customers are being told the fees are for tire programs and that is untrue."

This year’s budget cuts the Solid Waste Management Grants section of the solid waste fund from $8.5 million in 2002 to zero dollars for this year.

"These grants are crucial to the tire industry," says Mondo. "Without funding our industry will see job loss within the private and public sectors, loss of business infrastructure, recycling program cuts at the local level, tire piles reappearing, no monitoring of illegal dumping and tipping fees may increase to offset costs."

FATA's official position is the state tire fee should be used for the purpose that its name implies, which is the disposal of waste tires and related programs.

There is a ray of optimism, however. "The Senate is considering a special conference to deal with this issue, which may result in restoring some of the grant money," says Mondo.

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