State to Help Low-Income Texans Replace Old Vehicles

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AUSTIN (AP) - Low-income drivers in 16 Texas counties will soon be eligible for financial aid to replace old vehicles to help fight pollution.

By year's end, the state will begin offering up to $3,500 in vouchers to replace pre-1996 vehicles, which are some of the heaviest polluters on the roads.

The program will be available in 14 Texas counties surrounding the Dallas-Fort Worth and Houston areas, as well as Travis and Williamson counties.

Owners who agree to "retire" their vehicles will get $3,000 vouchers that can be used toward buying a new car or truck or a late-model used vehicle. If they opt to buy a hybrid, they can get $3,500.

The program is voluntary.

Vehicles must have passed a state inspection within the last 15 months, and the annual income of owners can't exceed $61,000 for a family of four to qualify.

The 16 counties are Brazoria, Collin, Dallas, Denton, Ellis, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, Johnson, Kaufman, Montgomery, Parker, Rockwall, Tarrant, Travis and Williamson.