Robert was proud of his new car, but he was far from happy when he learned he had to pay a fee on the also-new tires.
Still steaming from that realization, he boiled over when he went to the tag agency to register his shiny new vehicle and was told he had to pay that fee on the new tires again.
“It just isn't fair,” he said. “Those are brand new tires. I'm not disposing of them. I plan to use them a long, long time. But I got stuck with a waste tire charge. What the heck is that?”
It's called The Oklahoma Waste Tire Recycling Program, Robert, and it's been around several years.
Unfortunately, you just got to learn about your “participation” in it.
“State law requires Oklahoma tire dealers to collect waste tire recycling fees on each new tire sold and tag agencies to collect at first time registration of vehicles...” a pamphlet produced for the state Department of Environmental Quality says in describing the program.
The Legislature created the Waste Tire Indemnity Fund in 1990 with the intent to help clean up existing tire dumps in Oklahoma, as well as to stop development of any new ones.
Good idea, right?
You might remember, there was a $1 fee for
Early on, there were problems with the way the account was handled and how it was used.
For instance, about eight years ago, the fund was getting about $4.5 million a year from fees tacked on to new-tire sales and vehicle registrations. The money went to the Oklahoma Tax Commission and the state Department of Environmental Quality.
But the companies that were handling tire recycling were hindered by low budget totals and slow payment.
Part of the problem was that the Legislature tapped the account — more than once — moving the money to the general fund.
In 1997, the fees, which would have expired in 1999, were made permanent. In 2004, a change was made in how money from the fees paid into the fund was distributed.
The DEQ pamphlet says the fee still is $1 per tire ... for tires with a rim size of 17½ inches or less. It's $2.50 per tire for a rim size greater than 17½ inches but less than 19½ inches. And it's $3.50 per tire for tires with rim size greater than 19½ inches.
Robert says he paid $12.50 (twice) for four tires and a spare.
“The fee pays to collect waste tires from dealers and recycle them for fuel at cement kilns, as raw material for crumb rubber products, or as chipped replacement for gravel in drainage structures,” the DEQ pamphlet says.
It also notes that “shredded tires can be used in septic systems, lateral lines or further ground down to crumb rubber.”
Crumb rubber “is used to cushion playgrounds and football fields along with making running tracks and truck bed liners. It has also been used as an additive to asphalt.”
Robert doesn't disagree with making use of tires through recycling.
His complaints are:
“And it would seem actually that they ought to pay me for any of my tires they can make something else out of.”
They aren't going to allow that one.
Someone might argue that the tires are “extras” on your purchase, but have you ever seen a new car delivered without tires?
The double fee is the real point of debate.
So when you buy a new vehicle, check to see what all you ARE paying for when you hand over the money. You might be surprised.
I'm still not happy about that additional paper processing fee dealers charge.
Give me a few minutes and I'll probably think of another thing or two.
Enjoy your week and drive safely.
To learn about
the state, go to
and click on “Traffic