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Tire fee increase in California goes through; asphalt rubber requirement doesn´t

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On Sept. 1, www.moderntiredealer.com ran a story on the likely increase in the state-wide tire fee in California ("Tire fee increase in California appears inevitable"). It proved prophetic.

AB 923 (Firebaugh, D-South Gate) which, among other things, will increase the fee on new tires sold in California to $1.75 in order to fund air pollution prevention programs, recently was signed into law by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

In his California Tire Report, lobbiest Terry Leveille wrote that tire dealers were not consulted about the potential legislation, which originally was slated to increase the current $1 fee on the sale of new tires to $1.50.

But amendments from a special hearing of the Senate Environmental Quality Committee added a quarter to the proposed tire fee increase.

The bill will go into effect Jan. 1, 2005.

According to Leveille, air pollution prevention programs will receive 75 cents and the California Integrated Waste Management Board (CIWMB) will continue to fund state tire programs with $1 from the fee.

Leveille also told www.moderntiredealer.com that Governor Schwarzenegger vetoed AB 338 (Levine, D-Van Nuys), which would have required CalTrans to use at least 20%, by ton, of asphalt rubber derived from United States waste tires in its projects by Jan. 1, 2006. The percentage would have increased to 25% by Jan. 1, 2009, and 35% by Jan. 1, 2012.

In his veto message, Schwarzenegger said the following:

"While I am supportive of the overall policy of this bill, I am concerned that by limiting the product to those of U.S. origin only may violate various trade agreements. In addition, this bill may invite sanctions from other nations against products produced in California.

"I encourage the author to revisit this issue next legislative session and, with the Secretary of the State and Consumer Services Agency and the Secretary of the Business, Transportation and Housing Agency, find appropriate language that would alleviate any possible legal challenge which would invalidate otherwise good public policy. For these reasons I am returning Assembly Bill 338 without my signature."

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