Effective September 1st 2015, vehicle owners on island will be paying more as it relates to road taxes and the money will go towards the maintenance of the country’s main highways.
Prime Minister and Finance Minister, Roosevelt Skerrit made that announcement during his presentation of the 2015/2016 national budget held at the Parliament on Friday.
Skerrit said the highway maintenance levy will be applied to all classes of vehicles on the island.
“I believe strongly that it is not only fair and desirable to Dominicans who will benefit directly from continuous highway improvement to contribute a little more to maintenance of our roads,” Skerrit stated. “In light of the forgoing, I propose that a highway maintenance levy be applied to all classes of vehicles. As the roads are being rehabilitated, it is important that they are maintained, so that they are always in good condition.”
The new rates (in addition to what is being paid) are as follows:
commercial vehicles: $150 per year
-Trucks and dumpers: $150 per year
-Private vehicles: $100 per year
-Motorcycles: 50 per year
“We have to recognize our contribution, this rates must be paid at the time the annual license fee is payable and must be paid in full,” Skerrit said.
He revealed that proceeds from the High Maintenance Levy will form part of a special purpose revenue stream geared exclusively towards the upkeep of the island’s main highways
Meantime, he said there are hundreds of vehicles on Dominica’s road that are not licensed and most likely are uninsured.
“This is not only dangerous and unlawful but it is also selfish in the part of perpetrators,” he explained.
In fact, the Prime Minister indicated, the police are going to be more vigilant, “to detect these defaulters and the law is clear on what course of action can be taken against offenders.”
This measure he said will be reviewed after two years.
Meanwhile Skerrit mentioned that one area of concern relates to the unwillingness of citizens to pay taxes that are due.
“If those of us who are required to pay keep this obligation government would be in a better position to provide more goods and services,” he explained. “For example a recent review of the vehicle license fees indicate that only an estimated 62 percent of the revenue from that source are being paid. This is not acceptable. Such vehicle owners should note that the police will step up the surveillance to ensure that all defaulters make the required payments.”
Skerrit further noted that government has also invested in improving the audit capacity of the revenue agencies so that persons are in a better position to assess the amount of taxes and fees that are owed to the state.
In 2014/2015 an amount exceeding $13 million were spent on road maintenance.