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400 maxi owners in line to collect
Approximately 400 maxi taxi owners will benefit from the VAT and Motor Vehicle Tax rebate announced by the Minister of Finance Larry Howai during Monday’s budget. The rebate was promised to the Route Two Maxi Taxi Association since 2005 and was given as an incentive for maxi taxi owners to purchase 25-seater maxis instead of 18-seaters, in an attempt to ease congestion on the nation’s roads.
Speaking with the T&T Guardian yesterday, the association’s president Linus Phillip welcomed the rebate initiative, saying it was long overdue. “This is something for which we have been fighting for the past eight years and to see this Government finally concede and give it to us, it is welcoming news.” Maxi taxi owners are expected to get a rebate between $85,000 and $113,000, he said.
But Phillip said people who bought maxis from 2005 to 2014 and subsequently sold those vehicles would not qualify for the rebate as they would have sold their maxis at the market value. Maxis under the brand names Mitsubishi Rosa and Toyota, he said, were usually purchased at $625,000 showroom price. Phillip said the association was not sure if VAT and the Motor Vehicle Tax would be exempted for those purchasing now.
“We are still in a grey area with respect to that and this is where we will have to meet with the Ministry of Finance to discuss further and iron out the details.” Maxi taxi driver and owner Linton Robinson expressed happiness on hearing the news of the rebate yesterday. He said he bought two maxis within the past four years. “This is very good because the price of maintenance for these vehicles is very high. The rebate will help me pay the installment.”
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