Motor vehicle licensing, taxes should vary by region

Dear Editor,

The time has arrived for motor vehicle licences, registration and taxation, including import and sales taxes to be regional. There are mainly two reasons for such implementation: density and accessibility.

Regions 3, 4 & 6 should pay higher licence fees and taxes than Regions 7, 8 & 9 simply because the former are more densely populated than the latter. Moreover, fees are economic methods to change behaviours i.e. the use of more public transportation in densely populated regions, which would lead to cleaner environment (carbon footprint) for starters. On the other hand, accessibility to transportation in areas where modes of transportation are disparate and few resulting in the waste of resources due to inadequate transportation, including transporting food.

There is a spin-off effect i.e. shifting populations from the flood prone areas of the coast to the hinterland, reducing the frequent destruction of property and lives. It is time that Guyana prepares beyond the obvious effects of oil revenues including a material increase in population that results in a commensurate increase in demand for everything from food to medication.

How to prevent abuse of such a vehicle licence and taxation programme? You set up modes of communications for citizens to report suspected abuse as well as train new traffic inspectors to detect whether a vehicle and its driver are just visiting a Region temporarily. Such training starts with home, registration and an  insurance address, which should be the same.

I am cognizant that the benefits of such a programme are beyond the few I have described. As such, all stakeholders should be allowed to contribute to preliminary discussions/debates before any implementation. Let the discourse begin.

Yours faithfully,

Keith Bernard

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