ATLANTA,None — Each year Georgia collects millions of dollars in fees for various trust funds, everything from environmental cleanups to driver training for young teens, but Channel Two's Tom Regan has discovered that money actually is being spent in ways that have nothing to do with their original purpose.
One example is a tire cleanup fee drivers pay every time they put a new tire on their car. The money goes to the state, and it's intended to help fund the cleanup the millions of old tires that litter roadways and vacant lots.
Regan found the fee isn't really helping people who live near a tire dump. Of the more than $6 million collected in tire fees last year, state records show not one dollar has gone to actually cleaning up tires. Instead, money went into the state's general fund.
"That baffles me. It makes me really angry. We pay tax dollars and it's being spent somewhere else," said Katie Corkren.
"We're just asking the General Assembly to put the trust back into the trust fund," said Will Wingate, of the Georgia Conservancy.
The tire cleanup fee is just one of many state fees that are spent in a way that was not intended. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation crime lab, which faces staff shortages, was supposed to get more than $1.7 million in fees last year tacked onto court fines. A GBI spokesman told Regan the agency didn't get any of that money.
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