Senate sends tire fee bill to Blunt

Thursday, May 12, 2005

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- The Senate gave final legislative approval Wednesday night to a bill that would reinstate a 50-cent fee on new tires to help fund the clean up of old discarded ones.

From 1990 until Jan. 1, 2004, the state required tire dealers to collect a 50-cent fee on each new tire sold. But the fee was allowed to expire, and efforts to reinstate had failed until now.

Under the bill, which went to the governor on a 33-0 vote, the fee would expire in January 2010. The House passed it earlier in the day.

The fund was used to help clean up tire dumps, but money in that fund has dwindled since the fee expired.

Restoring the tire fee is part of a broader hazardous waste bill that also imposes a 50-cent fee on car batteries.

Senators defeated an emergency clause, which would have made the bill effective immediately upon the governor's signatures. Without that clause, state laws automatically take effect Aug. 28.

Since the waste tire fee started in 1990, the state has cleaned up more than 12 million tires. Waste tires can pose health and environmental hazards when not properly disposed of, according to the Department of Natural Resources, which runs the cleanup program, and water standing in them can help breed disease-carrying mosquitoes.

Tire fee bill is SB225.

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