The government-appointed Traffic Consultative Committee discussed Thursday ways to tackle the city’s growing number of vehicles, Secretary for Transport and Public Works Raimundo do Rosario said, adding that the committee had reached a consensus that vehicles taxes and fees ought to be increased, considering that they haven’t been raised for over 10 years.
Rosario made the remarks while talking to reporters after a closed-door meeting by the committee at the Transport Bureau (DSAT). Rosario chaired the meeting. DSAT Director Wong Wan also attended the meeting, the committee’s first this year.
Rosario said the committee members agreed that because of Macau’s limited space – just about 30 square kilometres – and the rising number of motor vehicles, an increase in the motor vehicle tax rate and vehicle circulation tax as well as traffic-related fees, should be considered as a way of “controlling” the city’s number of cars and motorcycles.
Rosario said that as this was only this year’s first meeting, details of the possible tax and fee hikes still needed to be discussed. The policy secretary said he could not say by how much the tax rate and fees would be increased.
Meanwhile, Wong told reporters that if the tax deterrent was implemented, the new motor vehicle tax rate would be put into effect at short notice, so as to avoid a possible rush by residents to circumvent the tax hike.
The motor vehicle tax is included in the price buyers pay when they purchase a car of motorcycle.
Any change in the tax rate would have to be passed by the Legislative Assembly (AL). However, any fee adjustment could be carried out through administrative means. As possible fee increases, Rosario mentioned parking and vehicle inspection fees.
Wong said the committee would look at other cities nearby for examples of how much to increase the motor vehicle and vehicle circulation taxes. He pointed out that both tax rates are much lower than in neighbouring regions, such as Hong Kong and Taiwan, and foreign countries, such as Singapore.
According to the Finance Services Bureau (DSF), the motor vehicle tax ranges from 30 to 55 percent of the
import value for cars and from 10 to 30 percent for motorcycles and scooters, depending on the model.
The vehicle circulation tax ranges from 350 patacas to 4,500 patacas per year, depending on the engine displacement.
While Rosario told reporters that “nothing has been decided yet”on by how much the tax rates and fees would be increased, government broadcaster TDM reported after Thursday’s committee meeting that the government “will increase” the city’s vehicle taxes “this year”.
At the end of January, the number of licensed motor vehicles stood at 241,772. Motorcycles and scooters accounted for 52 percent of the total, according to official statistics.
The number of new registrations of motor vehicles increased 17.8 percent year-on-year, with that of motorcycles rising by 35.1 percent in January. (macaunews/macaupost)