‘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.
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.