A proposal to encourage people to buy less polluting cars is returning to the Utah legislature.
"Air quality is important to everyone," said the initiator of the bill and R-Draper Rep. Jeff Stenquist. "These old cars have indeed caused us a lot of problems."
Tier 3, the latest automotive emission standard, began to be implemented in stages in 2017, and the process will be completed in 2025. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, these standards are 98% higher than in 1975, and "are to promote air quality in the United States."
Stenquist's legislation will help low-income people buy electric cars and Tier 3 cars. He said that incentives may come in the form of tax rebates or tax cuts.
“For those who think that the price is a barrier to getting rid of old polluting vehicles, this may help them make decisions earlier and move the vehicles off the road faster,” he said.
Not everyone will get the same amount of money. The size of the tax rebate or tax reduction will depend on the pollution level of a person’s old car and the cleanliness of the new car. Steinquist estimates that the maximum amount will be around $5,000.
"These vehicles can't just be resold," he said. "It must be confirmed that they have been scrapped and can no longer be driven. The engine must be disabled."
Stenquist ran a similar bill in 2019 but failed to pass. He said he hopes this will happen this time because he has increased his income requirements.
He said: "The idea is not to let the rich go out and buy Tesla when they can afford it." "The funds are limited."
In addition, Stenquist said he hopes the state's tax surplus of $614 million will provide sufficient funding for his plan. In 2019, he made a request for US$6.5 million for the plan and stated that he plans to make a similar request this year, but will pay less.
"If we get 3 million or 4 million dollars in grants, we can still run the program well," Steenquist said. "It just means that we can incentivize fewer cars to be removed from the road."