Diamond Bar, CA
At an open meeting last month the South Coast Air Quality Management District discussed funding for a plan it has proposed that would cut smog emissions from cars, trucks, refineries, etc. in the state’s most smog-impacted areas.
The plan, scheduled to go before the SCAQMD Board of Directors for a vote of approval in December, would require a budget of approximately one billion dollars per year; at a minimum—ten times more than the agency’s current budget. At last month’s meeting the agency discussed a potential vehicle registration fee to cover the potential costs; however, experts believe the fee would need to be at least $60 per vehicle to cover the costs.
Agency officials, however, are keenly aware that such an increase would have to go before the state legislature and require a two-thirds majority approval.
Currently, the SCAQMD collects $2 per vehicle in annual registration fees through the DMV. Although $60 per vehicle might be considered a bridge too far. There may however, be some room for consideration. Vehicle owners in San Joaquin Valley, another area with serious air quality concerns, pay $12 per year in vehicle registration fees per year.