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‘It’s highway robbery’

An apparent equipment malfunction at the Barbados Licensing Authority has resulted in one motorist having to pay 15 per cent more in road tax than was paid for the same vehicle six months ago. As a result an angry Ricardo Archer has accused the state entity of highway robbery.

The road tax on the car that Ricardo Archer now owns has moved from $400 last year to $451 this year.

The road tax on the car that Ricardo Archer now owns has moved from $400 last year to $451 this year.

Archer complained to Barbados TODAY that he bought a car about a week ago and was shocked when he was given the road tax bill.

“Last year was $400 and I have paid $451 and nothing has been changed on the car. Same vehicle, same everything,” Archer contended.

The new road tax disc dated March 13, 2017 showed that the Mazda Familia weighed 1,270 kilogrammes, nearly 200 kilogrammes heavier that 1,080 displayed on the September 1, 2016 disc. He said the cashier had explained that the first reading was an error.

“As far as I know road tax ain’t gone up. I bought the vehicle for a week now and the guy who had it before only paid $400. I would like to talk to the Minister of Transport Michael Lashley about this.”

Despite his anger and frustration, Archer was tongue in cheek when he said he had visited the petrol station to fill his gas tank before he his journey to the Pine to have his vehicle weighed.    

“I may have to go back to the gas station and see if they put lead in my tank or I have to go and look in the trunk to see if a dead man in the back,” he said.

Archer said he complained to the Chief Licensing Officer but was told that nothing could be done about the situation.

He said that the senior official explained that the weight lift had not been calibrated for 2016 and Archer surmised that this was the reason for the erroneous reading. He was told to return when the machine had been calibrated to get the car weighed again.

“He said if the weight was wrong then I would have to write to the Minister of Finance to get a refund, [but] that could take up to seven years.

“The weight lift needs to be calibrated urgently because people have been paying different amounts for road tax for the same vehicle and that is not right,” Archer declared.

Barbados TODAY attempted to contact Chief Licensing Officer Virgil Knight but we were told that he was not in office.

6 Responses to ‘It’s highway robbery’

  1. Tony Webster March 18, 2016 at 5:00 am

    Pass a Grantley to “someone”…maybe de same machine cud be “fixed”…to charge less…Mr. Leigh Trotman will complain…so what?

    Guys…cud you tek a break from all de “celebrations”…and take a read of the Weights and Measures Act?

  2. jrsmith March 18, 2016 at 6:00 am

    At present I am living in the UK, my car tax £544 per annum, this is base on engine capacity, the dam price goes every year you cant complain to anyone , at least the gentleman has a case .. one thing I would have thought about the tax disc there is no bar coding.. This just shows how bajans are treated in Barbados.. all the others let us see your tax discs if you have the same problem..

  3. Corey Broom March 18, 2016 at 9:55 am

    Weighing a vehicle for road tax purposes makes no sense to me, when that information is provided by vehicle manufactures and can be easily obtained; thus, making the road tax charges fixed and systematic. so if that is not the case, I advise persons to go with and empty gas tank, take out any items you may have in the vehicle (cubby hole included), take out the back seat and the spear type, and you might think of taking off your rims and putting on lighter one for that day.

  4. dave March 18, 2016 at 11:40 am

    “He said if the weight was wrong then I would have to write to the Minister of Finance to get a refund, [but] that could take up to seven years.

    lol lol lol –Really
    Only ignorant citizens of a country would put up with this

  5. jrsmith March 18, 2016 at 2:16 pm

    @,Dave , hail , hail, on the button , the politicians are treating bajans as fools and second class citizens, you notice when bajans politicians are speaking to foreigners , no attitudes ,different faces and right comments for the occasions, to bajans , they talk crap , repeat themselves, rude remarks and the rum shop mentality comes out, as bajans you like or lump it..

  6. Wayne Prescod March 19, 2016 at 11:00 pm

    I saw a similar situation unfold in the Licensing Authority in the Pine once. The gentleman was complaining about how his road tax in the previous year was less than the one he was currently paying and was querying what had changed. He was clearly peeved at the whole situation and his voice was quite elevated. When he was finished, the cashier asked what he did for a living. We all wondered where she was going with that line of questioning and again the man started up and asked what that had to do with anything. The cashier asked again and he answered that he was an electrician. The cashier asked him if he always traveled with his tools. And again the man started up but he eventually said yes he always had his tools…..the cashier asked him if he had his tools in the car when the car was weighed during the inspection…..the attitude of the man changed almost instantaneously. He sheepishly asked if he could have the vehicle weighed again…..sans the tools!!!! Needless to say the whole place in an uproar now because everybody was laughing except the cashier who obviously had seen it before!!!


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