- Associated Press - Sunday, February 12, 2017

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - A lawmaker wants to spike Alaska’s studded-tire tax from $5 to $75.

Sen. Cathy Giessel’s bill is aimed at raising money to repair rutted roads damaged by studded tires, reported KTVA-TV (https://bit.ly/2l3RfYk).

Giessel called the tax hike a “public safety user fee.”

“There are states in northern climates that do ban studded tires, but this is not a ban,” she said. “It is a user fee to help to restore the damage that’s caused from the studded tires.”

The higher tax would add $300 to the cost of four studded tires compared with the current $20.

“While the state is facing these budget cutbacks, my concern is that the Department of Transportation have adequate funds to repair the damage that is being done to the roads by the studded tires,” Giessel said. “We no longer can rely on oil industry money to take up the repair of the roads, and so we need to step up and cover that cost by the users.”

Giessel, who sent the bill to two committees, said she plans to do more research before requesting a hearing.

Dan Williams of American Tire and Auto said $300 plus the cost of tires will be a tough sell to customers.

He and Giessel agree that winter tires without studs are almost as effective. “Traction is just off the charts if you go with the newer models of things that are coming out,” Williams said.

The $5 tax has been in place since 2004.


Information from: KTVA-TV, https://www.ktva.com

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