By George Psyllides
THE House Finance Committee will explore the possibility of last-minute changes to a road tax bill that has drawn reaction from various interest groups.
Car rental companies, car importers and tourist bus owners have all expressed concerns about the bill, each for their own reasons.
Car importers want the tax brackets changed to make them fairer, they said. They also want their stock to be exempted from the new road tax and new registration fees.
Their request included shipments that have already been ordered and are on their way to Cyprus.
Car rental companies said the increased costs would be transferred to consumers – a rise that could reach up to200 per cent on the daily fee.
The owners of tourist coaches claimed that the new provisions could cost a bus company €100,000 annually. A single owner would have to pay €30,000, they said.
Committee chairman, DIKO MP Nicolas Papadopoulos, conceded that the bill could not satisfy everyone but added that a last-minute effort will be made to improve the provisions.
Papadopolos stressed that approval of the bill, along with a string of others, was a precondition for the release of the second tranche of Cyprus’ bailout.
The new road tax charge for vehicles registered from the start of next year will depend on their CO2 emissions.
Vehicles registered by the end of the year will not have to pay road tax based on their CO2 emissions, as part of new legislation, but their owners will be charged an additional fee depending on engine size.
Specifically, electric cars will be exempted from the registration fee.
The same goes for vehicles with CO2 emissions of less than or equal to 120g/km (combined cycle).
The registration fee for vehicles with CO2 emissions over 120g/km and up to 150g/km will be €25 per gramme over 120.
A €750 fee will be charged for vehicles emitting between 150g/km and 180g/km and a €2,250 fee for emissions above that, plus €400 for every gramme over 180.
The new road tax will be charged as follows: vehicles emitting 120g/km, €0.5 per gramme, 120g/km – 150g/km, €3, 150g/km – 180g/km, €3, and over 180g/km, €8.
For already registered vehicles (cars and motorcycles) , the bill provides for a special fee – above and beyond the current road tax – of €10 for low emissions, €20 for vehicles with engine displacements up to 2,050 cubic centimeters, and €30 for vehicles with engine displacements than 2,050 cc.