• Tires & Rubber Beat

State Legislation Update

While most states legislatures have adjourned their regular sessions, recyclers shouldn't assume the states are finished for the year. Some legislatures stay open throughout the year; in others, special sessions can be called with little warning. ISRI is currently tracking just shy of 900 bills and regulations, over 120 of which target tires and rubber.

Bills and regulations targeting tires and recycled rubber can directly change how your business operates. In worst-case scenarios, legislation could even make it impossible for recyclers to stay in business.

Synthetic Turf
While states continue to introduce bills targeting synthetic turf infill made from recycled rubber, 2018 has been a quieter year than previous sessions, with no adverse state legislation passing to date. Bills targeting funding in Maryland and Massachusetts both died, while more typical moratoriums in Connecticut, New Hampshire, and Virginia failed as well. In contrast, several states including Ohio and New Mexico authorized additional funding for synthetic turf fields at local schools.

However, California AB 2908 is slowly working its way through the legislature. If passed, the bill would repeal the Rubberized Pavement Market Development Act and replace it with a new Tire Recycling Incentive Program Act, granting "eligible entities" payments for specified "incentive-eligible tire products" manufactured from California-generated tire material. The definition of "incentive-eligible tire products" would exclude synthetic turf infill, loose rubber nugget or mulch playgrounds, TDF, crumb rubber as an intermediate product, and other products. The bill would also establish up to an additional $1 fee on tire retailers to provide additional funds if the state's tire fund drops below $25 million, and makes changes to the state's manifest system. The bill has passed the Assembly and, as of the time of writing, had been referred to the Senate Environmental Quality Committee.

Tire Programs and Fees
Louisiana has passed increases to its tire fee and changes to licensing requirements effective August 1. Louisiana HB 142 increases the tire fee by $0.25 per tire until July 31, 2022 for passenger vehicles, light trucks, and small farm service tires, while HB 840 tweaks the occupational license tax requirements under § 47:350 to require that license applicants who intend to sell used tires include the Department of Environmental Quality permits authorizing such sales with their license application. HB 855 sought to adjust end-market use applications and sunset the state's Waste Tire Program Task Force, but the bill was vetoed by the governor.

In North Carolina, HB 374 was just amended to include used tire sales in the state's tire tax and change the rate from a percentage of the sales price to flat fees of $1 for a tire less than 20" and $2 for tires 20" or larger. The amendment also removes the existing exemption for recapped tires. The bill is an omnibus measure that has been amended frequently, so it is hard to tell if the tire provision will remain if the bill is passed before North Carolina's June 30th session deadline.

Kentucky also passed a temporary increase in its tire fee; HB 487 states that, until July 1, 2020, the tire fee will be raised to $2 and subject to the Kentucky sales tax (previously $1 and exempt).

Please contact Justin Short with any questions pertaining to state legislation.

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