President of the TT Automotive Dealers Association (TTADA) Visham Babwah is calling on Minister of Finance Colm Imbert to extend a deadline on a tax increase on imported vehicles from October to December, citing issues in logistics for vehicles that have already been purchased in Japan, but would be unable to arrive in TT until after the deadline later this month.
Babwah yesterday questioned the motives of government on the tax hike and described the move as both unusual and harmful. He added that unless government provides an extension to the deadline, the Association would consider legal redress. “We need ample time to purchase the cars and place them on a vessel. This is the second time they have done this in less than two years and they must rethink that or we will consider our legal options. We will take the government to court because we have vehicles that are parked up in Japan that are unable to be shipped before October 20 and then when they are shipped and arrive here, we will have over $200,000 in taxes to pay on each vehicle. The Minister needs to give us enough time.” Babwah said that the taxe hikes in addition to the removal of the fuel subsidy were an attack on citizens of lower to middle income brackets and said that in the long run, such measures will ultimately ruin the local forign used car industry.
“The law that was ascented last year based on that law we went and we purchased vehicles based on that law, we did not expect another law to come and change overnight knowing the nature of the business we are in. This was a deliberate move by the government to get rid of the foreign used car dealers.”