Vehicle inspection program suggested
One of my first surprises when moving to Tennessee 19 years ago was the lack of an auto safety inspection program. Every one of the eight states I previously lived in required an inspection by a licensed mechanic before you could register your vehicle.
I mention this in the wake of the county commission’s decision to put a Blount County wheel tax to a vote by us. This is simply another added tax on a basic necessity for most families, not unlike our highest-in-the-country sales tax on food, clothing, and, yes, wheels.
Instead of just doing the easy thing, increasing taxes, why not raise additional funds by instituting a statewide vehicle inspection? The inspection would include brakes, lights, wipers, windshield, tires, and exhaust system. This would accomplish several things:
1. The state would charge a license fee to all garages who become inspection stations, which would be divided between the state and local government.
2. The inspection fee would be split between the inspecting garage and local government.
3. The charges for repairing any defects in the vehicle would most likely be done by the inspection station, creating more sales tax revenue.
4. And, certainly not least important, it would remove unsafe vehicles from our roads.
I’m sure there will be many opposed to this unoriginal idea based on our constitutional right to be dangerous to ourselves and others. And the way politics work (or don’t), it will not immediately solve our budget problems.
But if there was a choice between just raising our taxes again in some form or another, or providing a service to the public by ensuring that the vehicles on Tennessee’s roads are safe, how could you not choose an inspection fee?
5280 Morganton Blvd.
Greenback, TN 37742