Ghana’s Minister of Finance Ken Ofori Atta has revealed that some changes have been made to the Luxury Vehicle Tax (LVT) law introduced last year to lay to rest issues concerning its implementation.
Addressing a news conference in Accra on Friday, however, he did not disclose the detail of those changes, saying it would be made known during the midyear budget review scheduled for next month, the Accra-based Ghanaian Times reported.
When it was introduced by the government, the LVT required that owners of vehicles with engine capacities of 3.0-3.5 liters pay an annual tax of GH¢1,000, those with engine capacities of 3.6 to 4.0 liters would also pay GH¢1,500 and 4.1 liters and above, GH¢2,000 annually.
However, the law has since been opposed by a coalition of car dealers and owners, who staged a demonstration in Accra in March to register their disapproval.
Earlier this month, the coalition served notice of another demonstration to press home their message that the law, if implemented, would exacerbate the cost of their business.
But Ofori-Atta told journalists, “We did not introduce this tax to cause any inconvenience to anybody in the country. We are fighting for the interest of the public so let us all collaborate to build the country we can all be proud of.”
He said the introduction of the tax was a necessary move to increase revenue and fight climate change and assured that his outfit was poised on sealing revenue leakages and insisted on value for money, saying Ghana was not collecting enough taxes as it should.
Describing the LVT as important for the future, the minister also urged the media to be cautious in their reportage on issues relating to the LTV law, adding that misinformation could incite vehicle owners against the government.
He mentioned that the LVT was also a relevant law that would, among others, go a long way in promoting responsible consumption of fuel.
The minister further bemoaned that high capacity engines negatively impacted the environment, adding that the LVT would control the use of vehicles with such engine capacities, thereby reducing their effect on the climate.
Ofori-Atta indicated that there were some countries that were getting ready to phase out all vehicles that used diesel, in an effort to protect the environment, adding that Ghanaians must also learn to accept laudable moves as such.
“It all boils down to the realisation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which is seeking to create a better life for all of us,” said Ofori-Atta, who assumed office as Ghana’s finance minister on Jan. 27, 2017.