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Demonstration against luxury vehicle tax postponed to March 7

BY: Zadok K. Gyesi

The proposed demonstration by six groups against the luxury vehicle tax has been postponed to March 7, this year.

About 2,000 luxury vehicle owners were expected to take part in the demonstration which was scheduled for today by driving their vehicles to the premises of the Ministry of Finance, Parliament House and the Jubilee House.

The demonstration was scheduled to start at 8 am from the Obra Spot through Kwame Nkrumah Avenue to Farisco Traffic light through to TUC before driving to the premises of the mentioned institutions.

The six groups are the Vehicle and Asset Dealers Association of Ghana (VADAG), National Concerned Spare Parts Dealers Association, True Drivers Union, Concerned Drivers Association, Ghana Committed Drivers Association and Chamber of Petroleum Consumers.

The Chairman of the group, Mr Eric K. Boateng told Graphic Online that the demonstration was postponed following a meeting with the police.

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He explained that the police advised that the large number of vehicles taking part in the demonstration would cause vehicular traffic in the capital, hence the need to restructure their plan.

He, however, said the leadership of the group met on Monday, February 18, 2019, to discuss the way forward and they agreed that on March 7, the demonstration will be done across all the regional capitals where they will present their petitions to the various Regional Coordinating Councils.

Mr Boateng, who is also the Chairman of VADAG, said the luxury vehicle tax was collapsing their businesses as people are no more buying the cars and those bought already are being returned.

“Those we have sold to them are returning them (the cars),” he said.

According to him, many people buy vehicles with such engine capacity because of the bad roads in the country.

Mr Boateng wondered why government would brand vehicles with engine sizes of 3.0 and above as luxury without taking into consideration other components of the cars.

He said such a tax “has never happened in our history and that is why we also want to do this historic demonstration against the government.”

In July 2018, the Minister of Finance, Mr Ken Ofori Atta in the mid-year budget review announced the imposition of a luxury vehicle import tax as part of a new policy to help raise more revenue.

He said the tax would be imposed on luxury vehicles with the capacity of 3.0 litres and above.

The implementation of the luxury vehicle law commenced August 1 after Parliament passed it to impose an annual levy on vehicles with high engine capacities after it was proposed by the government.

With the approval of the legislators for its implementation, vehicles with engine capacity of 2950 to 3549 Cubic Centimetres were required to pay a levy of GH¢1,000, while those with engines between 3,550 to 4049 cubic centimetres would pay GH¢1,500.

Vehicles with engine capacities above 4049cc were also obliged to pay GH¢2,000.

The levy would be paid by the vehicle owner on the registration of the vehicle and subsequently on or before the annual renewal of the roadworthy certificate each year to the DVLA, the body authorised by law to collect the levy on behalf of the government.

Although the levy has been imposed on vehicles with the listed cubic centimetres existing prior to the passage of the law, exempt from the levy are vehicles such as tractors; ambulances; commercial vehicles that have the capacity to transport more than 10 persons, commercial vehicles for the transport of goods among others.