Wed, 22 Mar 2000

New auto prices set by government to affect vehicle taxes

JAKARTA (JP): The city administration will soon impose higher taxes on vehicles based on the new auto prices set recently by the Ministry of Home Affairs, officials said on Tuesday.

City spokesman Muhayat told reporters at the City Hall that the decision was based on a decree issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs No. 1/2000 on vehicle base price.

"The administration is only following the decree in imposing the increased vehicle tax," he said.

The ministerial decree sets a new price list for all new and used vehicles, depending upon their brand, type and year of release, Muhayat added.

He did not give details or the date when the decree comes into effect, but said that the tax for the vehicles, locally called PKB, and fee for changing vehicle ownership, or BBNKB, would be higher than before.

A local report said that under the new tariff, the PKB rate for a 1996 Jeep Land Cruiser VX-R would be set at Rp 3.98 million (US$538), more than double the current rate of Rp 1.69 million.

A BMW 520i sedan released in 1985 would be set at Rp 757,000 from the current PKB rate of Rp 526,000. A Toyota Kijang Super KF 50 Long released in 1996 would be raised to Rp 510,000 from Rp 374,000.

It also sets a tax coefficient (DPP) that is based on the pollution level of the vehicle and the possible damage it could cause due to its load capacity.

According to the decree, the PKB tariff will be calculated by multiplying the new base price of the vehicle with the DPP, which has been set between 1.5 and 2.5, and the government-set percentage of 1.5 percent.

The BBNKB fee will be calculated from the vehicle base price multiplied by the government-set percentage.

The current system of vehicle taxes are based on Ministerial Decree No. 16/1999 issued by the same ministry and Gubernatorial Decree No. 24/1996.

According to a tentative schedule, the new tariff system -- which will be effective nationwide -- should be imposed starting from April 1.

But Governor Sutiyoso told reporters earlier in the day that he had not made any decision on the planned hike in PKB and BBNKB for vehicle owners in Jakarta.

"I haven't received any information on it. I have to check the details first," he said, while admitting the tax hike would create a political effect.

Interviewed separately, city councillor Amarullah Asbah of the Golkar Party said he could understand the planned hike because the increase was only imposed on the vehicle's market price.

"The tax is still 1.5 percent from the base price multiplied by the tax coefficient. The amount is changed because the price has increased," he said.

"The price is always updated following market development," he said.

Residents were reportedly complaining recently that they had to pay higher vehicle taxes without any prior notification even though they only have old cars.

Contacted separately, member of the Indonesian Consumers Foundation (YLKI) executive board, Tini Hadad said that she still had no adequate details on the plan.

But she strongly urged the government to adjourn the plan.

"It is not the correct time, because the public are now dealing with so many hikes. It will be too much," she warned.

Tini reminded that the government is wrong if it considers that the main target of the hike would be only wealthy people, in other words those who own vehicles.

"Jakartans, be they poor or rich, are forced to buy cars because public transportation is so poor. So if the government intends to impose the policy only on the rich, the tax increase should only apply for luxurious cars," Tini suggested. (09/ind/nvn)