TAMPA, Fla. (June 27, 2005) — The Florida Automotive Trades Association (FATA) won a legislative victory when Gov. Jeb Bush signed into law a bill that mandates all government entities pay the $1 state tire fee and the $1.50 state battery fee on all new tires and batteries.
Senate Bill 786, sponsored by FATA, becomes effective July 1. Under previously negotiated state purchasing agreements, the selling dealers could not charge government agencies the fees, but dealers were still responsible for remitting the fees from sales to those agencies.
“All of our members are required to pay the mandatory fee to the state when they sell a new tire or battery,” said FATA President Shawn Long of Long Tire in Tampa. “A lot of our business comes from servicing state and local government agencies and when these agencies don't pay the fees, it costs us money. Traditionally these contracts are high investment and provide a low return for the dealer which means every dollar counts.”
The revenue lost by Florida dealers is worth almost $500,000 a year, FATA said, citing a general government revenue conference held during the 2005 Legislative Session.
The tire fee is deposited in the Solid Waste Management Trust Fund, which pays for the cleanup of solid and hazardous waste as well as administration costs for the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. The battery fee helps keep Florida's water clean through the Water Quality Assurance Trust Fund, according to FATA.