By Peter Stevenson
THE number of vehicles that have not had their road tax renewed and will be removed from circulation has doubled compared to last year, acting head of the Road Transport Department (RTD) Petros Xenophontos said.
This year up until now around 46,000 vehicles have been immobilised while last year during the same period 23,000 vehicles were immobilised, Xenophontos told the Cyprus Mail.
There has been an increase though in the rate of renewals compared to the same period last year according to statistics released by the communications ministry.
In a statement, the ministry thanked the public for paying their road tax in a timely manner.
“On January 20, 2013 a total of 173,005 road tax renewals had been made which comes to 26.62 per cent of vehicles while this year up until the corresponding date a total of 223,092 road tax renewals were made which comes to 34.33 per cent of vehicles,” the ministry said.
It also that the RTD’s proposed amendment to the new road tax legislation that is aimed at re-establishing the previously abolished payment ceiling will be discussed at parliament.
“The amendment will be up for discussion as the first matter of business during Thursday’s plenum,” Xenophontos said.
The move is in response to complaints from pick-up truck and van owners, who under the new legislation, were in some cases forced to pay out €200 extra on their road tax.
The amendment has to be voted by the House before February 9, the deadline set for paying the tax.
According to an announcement form the RTD, the problem arose when the old ceiling of €299 was abolished. Under the new legislation, every car would be subjected to a road tax according to its horse power.
Large engine vehicles, such as vans and pick-up trucks, were listed under the new legislation as ‘van’, a category that had a higher index for calculating the amount due. The index number was increased from 0.14 per cent to 0.19 per cent.
The RTD apologised to the car owners affected, making clear that anyone who had already paid the road tax would be reimbursed.