MVA opposes bill to spread cost of clean air among Md. residents

February 17, 1993|By Kerry O'Rourke | Kerry O'Rourke,Staff Writer

ANNAPOLIS -- A Carroll delegate's bill to make all Maryland residents share the cost of clean air was opposed by the Motor Vehicle Administration yesterday.

Del. Donald B. Elliott, a Republican who represents Carroll and Howard counties, is sponsoring a bill to require all residents, not just those in counties where vehicle emissions tests are required, to pay an emissions control fee.

Currently, emissions tests are required in the state's eight metropolitan counties -- including Carroll. In 1995, six more counties will be included.

"All of Maryland should pay for air quality," Mr. Elliott said during a hearing yesterday before the House Environmental Matters Committee.

Anne Ferro, associate administrator for vehicle services at the MVA, said the MVA did a study several years ago and found that a fee for all vehicles would be "feasible," but not "advisable."

With residents of the six additional counties being added to the vehicle emissions testing program in 1995, the MVA doesn't want to impose too many changes at once and confuse residents, she said.

"Talk about weak arguments," said Del. Lawrence A. LaMotte, a committee member and Democrat who represents Carroll and Baltimore counties.

The fairness issue -- making all residents share in the cost -- outweighs any potential public education problem, Mr. Elliott said.

Under House Bill 573, residents would pay a fee when they register their vehicles instead of when their vehicles are inspected.

The fee probably would be less than the cost of the vehicle test, which is expected to increase to $15 to $25 because of the Clean Air Act, Mr. Elliott said.

The committee did not vote on the bill yesterday.

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