RCI St. Lucia
posted on May 13, 2015 08:55
A new Motor Vehicle License Fee structure was proposed by Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Hon. Dr. Kenny D. Anthony, in the 2015/2016 Budget Statement.
Licence fees for vehicles were reintroduced in 2009 during the tenure of Hon Guy Joseph, the former Minister of Communications and Works under the UWP Administration. Prior to 2009, the former Labour Administration had abolished such fees in favour of a special levy on fuel prices.
According to the Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, the structure has been adopted by most countries in the OECS and internationally and uses weight and engine capacity, as key metrics whether singly or jointly to determine licence fees. Dr. Anthony said,
“Mr. Speaker, I believe that all of our road users have a responsibility to help in the maintenance of our roads. These days, a mile of road costs approximately $1.5 million. I often say to our friends in the Minibus Association that the Government of Saint Lucia collects roughly $455,000.00 in route band fees, annually. This amount cannot even finance the cost of constructing half a mile of road. Yet, minibuses require decent roads to provide transport to commuters.
Unquestionably, Mr. Speaker, the heavier the vehicle, the greater is the damage to our roads. Likewise, the greater the engine capacity of our vehicles, the greater is the amount of fuel that is consumed and the greater is the damage to our ecology and environment.”
The Prime Minister advised that an amendment will be made to the Motor Vehicle and Road Traffic Act of 2003 and its accompanying Regulations to allow for a reclassification of motor vehicles and a change of licence fees. Dr. Anthony explained,
1. "There will now be ten (10) vehicle licensing classifications. These vehicle licensing classifications will be as follows:
(a) private vehicles;
(b) hired vehicles;
(d) passenger and farm vehicles (M and FAR plates);
(e) goods vehicles;
(g) earth-moving equipment;
(h) container trucks; and
2. Private vehicles, hired vehicles and goods vehicles will have multiple weight classes, each with a progressive fees structure.
3. The weight class for a vehicle sub-category will be based on the ‘curb weight’ of the vehicle.”
The proposed classifications, curbs weights and associated fee structure follow:
Table 1: Proposed Motor Vehicle License Fee Structure
Licence fees were not increased for motorcycles, hearses, FAR vehicles and passenger vans. The Prime Minister hinted that fees for passenger vans will be increased at a later date.
This proposal is expected to raise an additional $3.6 million in revenue. The fee structure was last revised in 2009.