During the 84th legislative session, State Sen. Don Huffines (R-Dallas) advanced a complete phase out of Texas’ disastrous business tax, otherwise known as the franchise tax. Now he’s calling for the repeal of the Motor Vehicle Inspection Tax, an outdated “vehicle safety” mandate that’s proven to be nothing more than a waste of time and money for Texans.

In an op-ed published in the Texas Tribune, Huffines noted how Texas has held onto the misguided policy of vehicle inspections long after the regulation-addicted federal government repealed similar laws over forty years ago.

If repealed, Texas would join thirty-four other states that no longer require vehicle inspections.

Nebraska repealed its vehicle inspection mandate in conjunction with a study of the impact its elimination had on defect-related crashes. Following its repeal in 1982, defect-related crashes significantly decreased by over 16%. A report submitted to the North Carolina Assembly cited the failure of similar “safety” programs, using data obtained by Nebraska’s study and others conducted across the country.

Huffines further outlined the total cost associated with levying the ill-conceived tax, citing the disproportionate burden it places on low-income Texans.

“So let’s call these inspections what they really are: a tax on Texans’ time and money. [It] costs Texans an annual $267 million in fees alone. What’s arguably worse is the tax on our time — the program forces more than 50,000 trips to the inspection station every single day, resulting in more than 9 million wasted hours every year. That adds up to $203 million in lost wages, based on average salary data…This type of flat cost disproportionately affects lower-income Texans, and while most begrudge the annual trip to the station, these individuals are truly harmed by this unnecessary and counterproductive mandate.”

Almost every Republican in Texas campaigns on promoting economic growth by limiting government, lowering taxes, and repealing unnecessary regulations. By calling for repeal of the inspection tax, Huffines has identified another opportunity for such lofty rhetoric to be put to the test.

Ross Kecseg

Ross Kecseg was the president of Texas Scorecard. He passed away in 2020. A native North Texan, he was raised in Denton County. Ross studied Economics at Arizona State University with an emphasis on Public Policy and U.S. Constitutional history. Ross was an avid golfer, automotive enthusiast, and movie/music junkie. He was a loving husband and father.


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