TIA Supports a Sales Tax on Online Tire Sales

Feb. 18, 2016

The 2016 Tire Industry Association Off-the-Road Conference in San Diego started yesterday with a legislative report by TIA Executive Director Dr. Roy Littlefield that included insight into the association's positions on some important industry issues.

A panel discussion on  "The Top 10 Questions on OTR Tire Repair," featuring representatives from 31 Inc., International Tire Repair Solutions Inc., Patch Rubber Co., REMA Tip Top/North America Inc. and Tech International also was a highlight.

Littlefield said the association supports the idea of imposing a sales tax for online sales of tires. He related a story a dealer told him while he was in New Jersey meeting with Congressman Frank Pallone about the Highway Bill. The dealer said that following a sale of a set of tires a week before Black Friday, he sent in paperwork for tire registration, but entered his name instead of the customer's name in the paperwork. Within a week, the dealer said the manufacturer of the tires sent back an e-mail that stated the next time he wanted to buy tires, he could get around paying state sales tax by buying tires directly online from them and could "bypass the dealer and avoid the dealer mark-up."

Congressman Pallone was presented this information and then included language in a transportation bill that will require the secretary of transportation to do a study on the subject.

Littlefield also said the association wants a full repeal of the estate tax, and in 2015 had the House of Representatives vote to repeal it. The bill did not proceed any further. Littlefield said he knows if the bill were to go to President Barack Obama, he would veto it. The association sent a request to all Republican candidates on the subject, and all of them pledged to appeal the estate tax. Both Democratic candidates want to raise the tax, according to Littlefield. Hillary Clinton would raise it to 60% and Bernie Sanders would increase it to 80%, he told the audience.

Littlefield said the association is closely monitoring the anti-dumping and countervailing duties investigations now taking place by the Department of Commerce for both OTR and truck tires. Modern Tire Dealer asked Littlefield if the association had taken a position on either OTR tire or truck tire duties. He said at this point, no.

Littlefield also told attendees that the association now has the largest memership in its history. TIA has more than 8,000 members. To put this in perspective, when the group was first formed by combining the former International Tire & Retread Association and Tire Association of North America memberships, it had 3,200 members.

TIA Senior Technical Consultant Marvin Bozarth moderated a panel of tire repair industry experts who discussed a variety of technical topics surrounding OTR tire repair. Ranging from ways to keep repair technicians safe to what type of tire injuries could be successfully repaired, the experts addressed "Top 10 questions on OTR tire repair."

It was also announced during the first day that next year's TIA OTR Conference was going to be held Feb. 15-18 at Turtle Bay Resort in Hawaii. The association expects to occupy about 90% of the total rooms of the resort.