Senate bill changes vehicle inspections to every two years

CHARLESTON — The Senate Transportation and Infrastructure Committee approved a bill on Thursday to reduce the number of vehicle inspections and make certain used-car sales easier for the seller.

As it came to the committee, SB 543 eliminated all inspections for motor vehicles and motorcycles.

After several days of testimony from law enforcement and others expressing concerns about public safety, the committee amended it.

Now, the bill requires inspections every two years instead of annually. It raises the maximum fee from $14 to $28 and the windshield sticker price from $3 to $6.

The bill also allows used vehicles to be sold “as is” under specified conditions:

— It is inoperable or a total loss;

— It’s been custom built or modified for show;

— It sold for less than $2,500, has more than 100,000 miles on the odometer and is at least 7 years old.

The vehicle must come with an “as is” disclaimer saying all warranties are lost and the buyer is responsible for all repairs.

After one additional tweak by Sen. Greg Boso, R-Nicholas, the committee approved it unanimously and sent it to the Senate floor.

Economic diversification bill

On Thursday morning, House Finance approved HB 2976, the Economic Diversification Act.

The bill calls on the Commerce and Tax departments to develop a plan to determine the eligibility of new businesses whose product or service offered is not currently offered in the state to receive state income tax relief.

Established businesses could also qualify by offering new products or services not now available.

The bill does not specify the amount of tax relief but sets a four year period for the relief, with the possibility of another four if no one else in the state offers the same product or service.

Delegate Doug Skaff, D-Kanawha, noted that a similar bill passed both houses in2013 and got vetoed because the Tax Department didn’t know how ot make it work at the time. Now, Colorado has something similar.

Lead sponsor Daniel Linville, R-Cabell, said that the bill doesn’t endanger existing tax revenue because it will apply only to new offerings. Encouraging businesses to offer new products and services is one of the best things the Legislature can do to promote growth.

The bill now goes to the full House.

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