Legislature(2003 - 2004)

2003-03-06 Senate Journal

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2003-03-06                     Senate Journal                      Page 0390
SB 106                                                                                            
SENATE BILL NO. 106 BY THE SENATE RULES COMMITTEE                                                   
BY REQUEST OF THE GOVERNOR, entitled:                                                               
               "An Act relating to a fee on studded tires; and                                     
          providing for an effective date."                                                         
was read the first time and referred to the Transportation and Finance                              

2003-03-06                     Senate Journal                      Page 0391
The following fiscal information was published today:                                               
 Fiscal Note No. 1, Department of Revenue                                                           
Governor's transmittal letter dated March 5:                                                        
Dear President Therriault:                                                                          
Under the authority of art. III, sec 18, of the Alaska Constitution, I am                           
transmitting a bill that would impose a fee on the purchase and use of                              
studded tires in Alaska.                                                                            
According to a 1996 report by the Alaska Department of                                              
Transportation and Public Facilities, the use of studded tires in Alaska                            
causes approximately $5 million damage to our roads per year. Most                                  
of this damage occurs in our high traffic urban centers in the form of                              
rutting. It is a particular problem in our urban centers where rutting is                           
often severe and causes unsafe driving conditions.                                                  
The worst of this damage is repaired by the department. Due to limited                              
maintenance funding, much of it is added to the State's deferred                                    
maintenance backlog. This bill would impose a fee of $10 for each                                   
studded tire sold, resulting in $2 million in increased revenues. This                              
proposal represents a modest, user-pays approach to paying for                                      
studded tire damage.                                                                                
New tire technology has been developed in the last ten years to create                              
studless winter tires. These tires use softer rubber compounds and                                  
specific tread patterns to improve their performance in snow and ice                                
conditions. This technology has continued to improve and is widely                                  
available as an alternative to studded winter tires.                                                
I urge your prompt and favorable action on this measure.                                            
Frank H. Murkowski