MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - Here is yet another twist in the expensive story of the vehicle inspection problem in Memphis.
It turns out even if you live outside city limits you may end up paying. Some members of Memphis City Council appear to be reaching for your wallet.
If you work in Memphis but live outside the city and think you don’t have to pay a city vehicle inspection fee, think again.
Thanks to a new ordinance being proposed by Councilman Edmund Ford Jr., you may soon be in for a new form of “sticker shock.”
“It’s outrageous,” said Shelby County resident Louie McGlaughlin, “sounds like something a Ford would do.”
What Ford is proposing is an ordinance calling for vehicle inspections for anybody using Memphis infrastructure but living outside city limits.
“This would apply to anybody in the city two or more days a week,” Ford told abc24.com.
“It’s outrageous,” said Andrea Lackey, who lives in the county, “I would not want to pay it and I drive into the city all the time.”
“It doesn’t sound like a good idea to me,” added county resident Hughly Moore.
License plate readers would track your movements in and out of the city and feed them to a database, “And that database would determine who has been in the city two or more days a week,” Ford said.
The councilman also said the proposed ordinance is not a "money-grab."
“We’re looking at taking care of the air quality of the city,” said Ford, “as well as recovering costs of our motor vehicle inspection program.”
Those factors will set the cost of the inspection, as yet undetermined.
“It just seems ludicrous,” said county resident David Broyles, “but I guess it’s another way to try to get money out of people.”
The proposal may be unpopular outside the city, but Ford says not so within city limits.
“That’s what Memphis taxpayers want,” Ford told abc24.com, “everybody else who uses our infrastructure to pay their fair share.”
But that’s going to be a hard sell to those living outside Memphis.
“I think it’s terrible,” said Broyles, “we go downtown all the time. I would go a lot less.”
“I just don’t think it would be right,” said McGlaughlin, “not at all.”
Also consider this. If you live outside the city and fail inspection - say your ‘check engine’ light is shining - does that mean you have to pay repair costs plus the fee just to be able to go to work?
One woman told abc24.com she volunteers at a downtown charity, sometimes coming in from the county 30 straight days. If she has to pay, she says her days as a volunteer may be over.