I don't know if it was something abandoned to get it out of someone's yard. People usually just leave them in the yard with trees growing up all around them in these parts.
I agree with all the taxes and such being excessive. Some things make sense though. I wish the tire disposal fee was charged upfront so there would be no cost once the tires were worn out. We pay the disposal fee of $1.75 or $2.00 per tire (truck and tractor tires are more) when they are taken off and we no longer want them. People don't want to pay to dispose of them so they end up in ditches. Some put them in the trash behind businesses and puts the cost on someone else. If the cost of their disposal was paid upfront and all tires with a date code of XXXX or newer were known to have fallen under the program, any tire dealer could just take them knowing that they would be disposed of.
There is a disposal fee for lead batteries that is done this way. You can get this core charge back when you buy a new battery and turn the old one in. There is a lesser amount you get back just by taking in an old battery for recycling, no matter if you go to an auto parts store or scrap yard.
Scrap metal value seems quite variable. For a time it was really up high and people were taking in old junk and cleaning up their yards as it paid for them to do so and quite well at that. Now I bet the cost of the gas to get it there doesn't pay for the load. I recycle my junk from my farm and business (computer/electronics trash). The farm stuff is mostly just junk metal which brings maybe a cent or two per lb. Some of the electronics stuff is actually quite valuable so that offsets hauling in the junk that costs more to haul than it is worth.
There was a time when a lot of the illegal dumps around here got cleaned up. I know a forestry ranger and he said there was a time when you would fill out a report for every occurrence of dumping found and then he would either load it into his truck for disposal or note in the report to have someone come get it. Then scrap prices went up and they pretty much quit bothering to write reports about appliances and such that were dumped. They would come back a few days later and someone would have picked them up for scrap. Now I bet this isn't the case.
As for the taxes and fees to pay for free electricity and phone service for the low-income people, I have very mixed opinions about this. Some people are truly in need. Then there are others that are lazy and working the system. These are the worst people to deal with and I have all but written them off as potential customers due to all the problems they cause. In my business I always have to deal with really spoiled rotten people who don't want to pay for anything when all the disability benefits and such come out on the 3rd of the month. I always have to watch out for crazies on the 3rd of the month. The full moon or ides of March don't scare me but the 3rd of the month does! It is like they come out of the woodwork for a couple days and then all the money is spent and they don't re-appear until next month. This is when the people with rancid BO are out in the stores and you see people getting taken out of Wal-Mart in handcuffs.