The emissions testing fee for vehicles registered in Davis County might increase next year from $9 to $12 to pay for computerized testing equipment.

The proposed fee increase was presented to the county health board this week. The board is preparing its budget request to be submitted to the county commissioners for the next fiscal year.Rich Harvey, Davis Health Department's Environmental Division director, told the board that new equipment will be installed in the emissions testing stations because of pressure from state and federal environmental agencies.

The three counties along the Wasatch Front that require emissions testing - Salt Lake, Davis, and Utah - have different standards for different substances they are trying to control, Harvey said.

That means a car registered in one county can't be tested in the other two because the equipment used there isn't calibrated to measure standards required in the vehicle's home county.

The new equipment will solve that problem. By dialing in the owner's zip code, the computer will be programmed to measure and test for that county's standards.

The problem is, the new equipment costs up to $12,000 per unit, Harvey said. But most emissions testing stations are using equipment that dates from when the testing program started seven years ago and is due for replacement, he said.

The new computer will print out the information needed, saving the operator from making entries on a form by hand, Harvey said. Some forms require up to 150 entries.

The fee level set by the county is the maximum a testing station can charge. Some stations reduce the fee to attract business.

Harvey is also asking that the county Health Department's share of the fee be increased from 50 cents to $1.50 per test form and that the county's registration emission fee for light diesel vehicles be increased from $1 to $10, the same as gasoline vehicles.

The county must buy and install equipment to test diesel vehicles by 1993, Harvey said. Only light diesel vehicles, such as passenger cars and light trucks, will be tested by the county.

Harvey estimated there are 3,000 to 4,000 of them in the county, not enough to support the number of gasoline vehicle emission testing stations in the county.

Harvey said the county will have to set up a single testing station. A $10 or $12 fee is reasonable, Harvey told the board, compared t the $40 to $50 car and truck owners pay in the rest of the states.