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by George Skentzos

Drivers across New South Wales are set to foot the bill for Sydney’s ill-conceived express rail service to the Western Suburbs thanks to a new car registration levy.

The new tax will force motorists to pay up to an additional $30 per year and is expected to generate over $500 million in revenue for the state government over the next ten years.

Motorists will be charged on a sliding scale based on their cars weight, with all but Lotus Exige owners set to be out of pocket with a 975kg maximum tax-free weight threshold.

It will cost motorists anywhere between $5 and $30 more the next time their car registration is due from July 2010 when the tax comes into effect.

It is typical of the state government to plug holes in the budget at the expense of motorists, with the controversial and outdated luxury car tax already taking its toll on Mum and Dad motorists.

With motor vehicle taxes only justifiable as a means of generating funds to maintain the state’s appalling road networks, it boggles the mind to think motorists are also keeping the public rail network afloat.

Furthermore, motorists in regional NSW will also have to share the burden of the new tax levy for a proposed rail service they are unlikely to ever use, while their own local public transport remains sub-par or non-existent.

As a knee-jerk solution to an unrelated problem, our politicians didn’t even have the decency to disguise the levy in the name of the environment, choosing to base the tax on weight rather than something remotely beneficial like carbon emissions.

Although Premier Kristina Keneally has still blindly defended the increased tax, saying that the policy would encourage motorists into smaller cars.

“The levy is scaled to the weight of the vehicle and so lighter vehicles will pay less, heavier vehicles will pay more,” she said.

“That is also targeted as encouraging people to buy lighter vehicles. From an environmental standpoint that’s a better outcome.”

Never mind that the Toyota Camry Hybrid, Australia’s most efficient locally-produced car, will be hit with the tax alongside the country’s most economical small car, the Ford Fiesta ECOnetic, which tips the scales at just 1088kg – still heavy enough to be taxed.

With The Daily Telegraph




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