Greendale Republican Jeff Stone wants to end the Wisconsin Vehicle Inspection program, saying it’s a waste of money. He says taxpayer dollars could be better spent on researching new energy-saving technologies that would help the environment. “What we find is that the emissions program really has less and less impact on air quality, but yet it’s like so many things that we create, it continues on, it has a life of its own.”
The federal Clean Air Act mandates the operation of vehicle emission inspection and maintenance programs in areas throughout the nation with significant air quality issues, including seven counties in southeastern Wisconsin. Under Stone’s plan, the state DNR would be directed to request a waiver from the Environmental Protection Agency to end the tests.
Stone says most vehicles being tested are newer and run relatively clean. “We would also create a sales tax exemption for the purpose of both extended-range electric vehicles and for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. This will encourage the purchase of those vehicles encourage, consumers to adapt that new technology.”
Also, Stone says the millions of dollars spent on testing the vehicles could be used for property tax exemptions for anyone installing charging stations.
NOTE: Only certain vehicles require an emissions test in nonattainment areas of the state, including the counties of Kenosha, Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Racine, Sheboygan, Washington and Waukesha. Stone testified at a public hearing of the Assembly Committee on Transportation this week.
AUDIO: Jackie Johnson report 1:29