LITTLE ROCK — A bill to revamp the state’s program dealing with waste tires failed by one vote in the Arkansas House on Friday.
House Bill 1267 by Rep. Lanny Fite, R-Benton, initially received 52 votes in the House, but a call was made to “sound the ballot,” a procedure in which every member must be in his or her seat to be able to vote. The bill then failed, receiving 50 yes votes and 22 no votes.
The Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality currently funds regional tire districts around the state. Fite said his bill, part of Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s policy agenda for the session, would address numerous problems in the existing program and create more accountability.
“What has been proposed here is to make each one of them do a business plan, and in that business plan they’ve got to go out and put their costs out there for every bit of their operation,” Fite said.
“ADEQ will approve (the business plans), and then they will be funded according to that,” he said.
Currently, the tire districts are funded based on population and the number of tires they report processing.
Other features of the proposal include a system for tracking tires, a $3 fee for replacing a tire with a new tire and a $1 fee for replacing a tire with a used tire. Currently, a $2 fee is charged per new passenger car tire and a $5 fee is charged per new truck tire, but there is no fee for used tires.
Several members spoke for and against the bill.
“My district is very rural. It’s a poor district,” said Rep. John Payton, R-Wilburn. “Any of you that represent a poor district probably understand better than ADEQ seems to understand that the people in your district buy used tires instead of new ones, and those are the people that are going to be taxed the most in this bill.”
Fite said later he hopes the House will reconsider the bill on Monday.