Low-Income Vehicle Repair Assistance, Retrofit, and Accelerated Vehicle Retirement Program Statement

Suggested State Legislation: Texas established a Low-Income Vehicle Repair Assistance, Retrofit, and Accelerated Vehicle Retirement Program (LIRAP) in 2001 to provide incentives to repair or replace vehicles in areas that don’t meet federal air quality standards. LIRAP is tied to mandatory motor vehicle inspection, maintenance and emissions testing throughout the state.

Under LIRAP, owners of vehicles that fail to meet certain emission standards are notified that they may qualify for financial assistance through LIRAP. The program originally provided $600 for vehicle repair and $1,000 for vehicle replacement. Originally, in order to qualify for LIRAP funds, the owner of the vehicle had to have an annual income that was equal to or less than 200% of the federal poverty level.

Senate Bill 12 of 2007 expands the LIRAP by:
• increasing the income threshold from 200% of the federal poverty level to 300% in order to broaden the LIRAP-eligible population;
• partnering with automobile manufacturers and automobile dealers to market LIRAP;
• partnering with the steel industry to scrap vehicles that are replaced and to provide proof that such vehicles were scrapped;
• increasing the replacement amount from $1,000 to $2,500 and requiring an owner of a LIRAP-eligible vehicle to replace the vehicle with a calendar year model or newer vehicle;
• working with the automobile industry, the steel industry, the state Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), and participating counties to enhance the enforcement and fraud protection components of LIRAP;
• directing the state Commission on Environmental Quality to review emission cutpoint levels and allowing the agency to make LIRAP available to owners of vehicles that do not meet a more stringent emission cut-point standard; and
• allowing participating counties to leverage state funds based on local matching dollars to support LIRAP and related activities.

Submitted as:
Texas
S 12
Status: Enacted into law in 2007.

Suggested State Legislation: 2009 Docket

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