Last weekend I went to get new tires for my SUV. The vehicle has about 160,000 miles and I haven't changed the tires in about three years.

Today's tires last a lot longer than your father's tires. They also cost a lot more. So I only needed three tires because I replaced one that I blew out last summer.

Three tires were installed for $817.88. They weren't top-of-the-line tires. Just regular decent tires for all of the highway miles I put on the car and good enough to get me through any snow and slush.

So of course after inspecting the receipt and all of the charges for mounting and balancing and state taxes, I noticed an added charge.

Dennis Malloy / Townsquare Media
Dennis Malloy / Townsquare Media

The charge was not from the tire place it was of course from our friends at The State of New Jersey. $4.50 tacked on as a "new tire fee."

Of course, the act of avoiding driving on bald tires and maintaining a safe vehicle would prompt the state to charge me a buck fifty a tire as a "new tire fee." That doesn't sound very mafia-like to me. Of course not!

Dennis Malloy / Townsquare Media
Dennis Malloy / Townsquare Media

So, what does the state do with my "new tire fee"? According to the state's Division of Taxation website...

"The tire fee is imposed at $1.50 per tire, including the spare tire sold as part of a motor vehicle. The tire fee also applies to sales of new tires in connection with a repair or maintenance service. The revenue collected from the Motor Vehicle Tire Fee is deposited in the Tire Management and Cleanup Fund established in the Department of Environmental Protection. Any additional revenue collected is available for appropriation to the Department of Transportation to support snow removal operations."

That of course is just one of the many little hidden fees and excise taxes New Jersey collects each year to feed the beast that is the New Jersey state government.

In a 2018 report from the Tax Foundation, released before the latest gas-tax hikes, it was found New Jersey residents shell out $445 per year in excise taxes, resulting in about $4 billion in revenue.

Overall New Jersey ranks third behind Illinois and Connecticut as the worst states for tax burden on middle-class families. It's one of the few tax categories where we are not the absolute worst.

So at least we've got that going for us. The next time you buy anything like a tire or a whole car, check the invoice to see how much of a cut the state of New Jersey is getting just because they can.

Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Dennis Malloy only.

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