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by Nigel Hinds
It’s an unholy, exploitative, abusive and castrating assault on the working and pedestrian class of Guyana, who wish to own an economy family vehicle due to the draconian taxes levied on personal vehicles by this governing administration.
One would think that with our Natural Resource Fund overflowing with oil funds, a caring government would look for tangible and inclusive ways to improve the quality of life for Guyanese. Not so!
Below is an illustration of the various burdensome taxes imposed by the governing administration on the importation of a family vehicle.
Table 1: GRA 2022 Duty, Excise & Value Added Taxes for Non-Commercial Vehicles
The total cost of the vehicle is shown before any financing costs, which approximates to 15%.
The taxes are gargantuous and unbelievable; no wonder there is so much vehicle import concession fraud. The sky-high taxes also cause many Guyanese to supplicate and sell their souls to get a duty-free concession.
Having to pay GY$38,573,600 in taxes for a vehicle with a dealership price of GY$13,000,000 is an extreme abuse of power. Paying GY$2,612,000 in taxes for a vehicle with a dealership price of GY$4,000,000 is also an extreme exploitation of power. The governing administration must abolish these suffocating taxes immediately!
I do believe that the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) is embarrassed to have to enforce this robbery of low-income Guyanese, while the hierarchy in the Government benefit from 100% concessions or major concessions on premium high CC vehicles such as Lexus, Land Cruisers, BMWs, Mercedes Benz, and other premium vehicles. In addition, wealthy farmers, miners and other industry magnates receive 100% concession or pay a negligible amount of taxes for importation of ‘commercial’ vehicles.
This vehicular fiscal onslaught on Guyanese, occurs while Guyana’s economy is the fastest developing economy in the world, the development pace is not due to governing administration policies, but instead due to the providence of the bonanza oil find of the century in Guyana’s offshore waters.
Why do we have these punishing and onerous tax rates on the importation of vehicles? There is no rational explanation for these excessive taxes and duties or the unnecessary VAT. The ongoing disregard for the working and pedestrian class is unnecessary, unwarranted and uncaring. Why are Guyanese made to struggle so much to buy a well-functioning family vehicle with the latest technology that prevents accidents, reduces deaths by vehicle accidents, reduces fuel consumption and significantly decreases maintenance costs.
It’s murder by taxes on and off the byways and highways for the Guyanese working class.