The Government has looked at ditching vehicle regos, and one option to replace it is another hike to the fuel tax.
While in opposition, MP Phil Twyford called the annual vehicle licensing system and its 235,000 fines each year a “giant revenue gathering device”.
Now the Minister of Transport, Twyford took official advice on other ways to raise the money, but doesn’t plan to pursue changes at the moment.
That’s a pity. He condemned it in opposition.
Twyford said he was concerned the current vehicle licensing system, which raised $469 million last year, cost taxpayers $50m to administer.
“I’m also concerned about the 235,000 people a year who don’t pay their rego fees on time and then end up getting dragged through the courts, clogging up our justice system and costing people a disproportionate amount of time and money for a minor offence.”
So scrap it. 10% of the revenue goes on admin and 235,000 people get hit with penalty fees plus some Councils use it as a huge revenue opportunity with their wardens giving you a $200 fine for being late.
Petrol tax is not perfect, but it has much lower compliance costs and is automatically paid.
Councils also issue $200 fines – and get to keep half the money collected.
Auckland dished out 54,644 warnings and 56,112 infringements for the 2017 financial year, with 20,188 of them going to court.
Christchurch issued 995 infringement notices in 2017. Wellington issued no infringements but gave out 353 warnings.
So Auckland Council have made $5.6 million from pinging late payers.