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Calif. considers tire-related bills

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SACRAMENTO, Calif.—The California State Legislature is considering three bills that affect scrap tire retailers and recyclers in the state.

According to the Feb. 28 issue of CA Tire Bulletin, the oldest of the bills was introduced Dec. 3 as AB 8 in the California Assembly and SB 11 in the Senate.

The bill addresses various aspects of the state's vehicular air pollution, alternative fuel and alternative vehicle technologies programs.

Currently, California imposes a $1.75 fee on every new tire sold in the state, with $1 of that money going into the Tire Fund at the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle), and the rest going into the state's Air Pollution Control Fund.

The fee is supposed to drop to 75 cents per tire as of Jan. 1, 2015, with all the money going to the Tire Fund.

However, AB 8-SB 11 would keep the fee at $1.50, splitting the money evenly between the Tire Fund and the Air Pollution Control Fund, from 2015 until it dropped to 75 cents on Jan. 1, 2024.

SB 202, co-sponsored by the California Tire Dealers Association (CTDA) and Les Schwab Tire Centers Inc., was introduced in the Senate Feb. 7 and assigned to the Committee on Business, Professions & Economic Development.

The bill removes the exemption of stores that advertise themselves as “tire sales only” from the jurisdiction of the California Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR).

“SB 202 was drafted as a consumer assistance bill after reports emerged that some of the 'tire sales only' businesses—often operating in lower-income neighborhoods—would advertise new tires at prices lower than wholesale,” wrote Terry Leveille, publisher of the CA Tire Bulletin and CTDA legislative representative.

“However, after mounting the tires, the shops included hidden fees, and the final price was significantly higher than the one originally advertised,” Mr. Leveille said. “If consumers refused to pay the higher price, the shops then kept the vehicle until the customer relented. Placing these types of businesses under the jurisdiction of BAR—like other tire retailers and vehicle dealers—would allow BAR to investigate and take disciplinary action,” he said.

The third bill, AB 513, was introduced Feb. 20. It would require CalRecycle to spend $10 million annually to award grants to cities, counties and local government agencies to fund public works projects using rubberized asphalt.

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