The County Commission on Wednesday approved a new five-year vehicle emissions contract, though Commissioner Greg Beck called it "probably the greatest hardship that has ever been put on our citizens."
He and Commissioner Warren Mackey were opposed.
Other commissioners had problems with the program, but Commissioner Fred Skillern said the county "has no choice" in the matter.
Commissioner Joe Graham said it is necessary "to keep us in the good graces of EPA and to keep from losing our air rating and jobs and industry."
He said not approving it could result in "a devastating blow" to the county's economy if EPA declares the county out of compliance on air quality.
Under the new contract, the cost at the station drops from $10 to $9 and the portion going to the county rises from 25 cents to a dollar.
A private company, EnviroTest, operates the program under contract with the state.
Last year, there were 233,899 vehicles tested in Hamilton County. The company got $8.20 per test - about $1.92 million.
Under the new pact, the EnviroTest share drops to $6.20 per test. The state gets $2.80 - up from $1.55.