The Association has urged government to waive the Luxury Vehicle Tax as it contributes more than its fair share of taxes.
The President of CRAG, Seth Yeboah Ocran, made the appeal at commissioning of CRAG’s Secretariat and launch of its website and database in Accra on Thursday.
He said the tax affected most of their operational vehicles such as the 4X4s, pickups, buses, and executive saloon cars.
He said members of the Association paid between five per cent and 17.5 per cent Value-Added Tax (VAT) on their services, one per cent tourism levy, 7.5 per cent withholding tax, Accra Metropolitan Assembly business operating permit, Ghana Tourism operating certificate and corporate tax.
“So when you add a Luxury Vehicle Tax, which ranges from GH¢1,100.00 to GH¢2,500.00 just to renew a roadworthy certificate, it becomes almost impossible to function as a business,” he said.
“We humbly call on our government to exempt the Car Rental Association of Ghana from the Luxury Vehicle Levy and reduce the VAT from 17.5 per cent to three per cent flat”.
Mr Ocran said, it was a basic fact that efficient transportation was critical to economic growth, yet the transportation system in the country was bad and the tax introduced would also affect tourism negatively.
He appealed to the Government to pay the needed attention to roads, especially those in poor states, and recognise CRAG as an important partner in development.
“We are glad to know that government increased its budget allocation to the sector from GH¢44,000,000.00 to GH¢75,000,000.00, yet only a small portion is set aside to directly support tourism initiatives. Therefore we plead with government to give priority to the tourism sector and increase the budget allocation for a stronger economy”.
However, the Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Tourism Authority Akwasi Agyeman, said though the Authority shared in the concerns of CRAG, it was not exempted from the Luxury Vehicle Tax because it hesitated to register its vehicles as commercial.
He explained that the tax was only meant for private luxury vehicles and, therefore, urged members of the Association to register their cars as commercial vehicles and get the ‘yellow number plates’ to be exempted from it.
He said since good roads enhanced tourism in every country, the Authority was going to work with the Ministry of Roads to consider fixing the bad roads.
Mr Agyeman said the Authority would organize intensive training programmes for the drivers of CRAG in 2019 to enhance their operations as “they could make and unmake the tourism sector.”
He disclosed that Ghana would host the “Year of Returns” next year, a celebration where foreigners, especially African Americans, would visit the country to join in the celebration of Ghanaian culture and festivals.
“This means that the private sector, CRAG, hoteliers, restaurant owners and everybody needs to be ready because when they come, they will sleep in hotels, eat our foods, rent our cars, and visit our tourist sites, which will generate revenue for us,” he said.
The State Insurance Company (SIC) donated a cheque for GH¢10,000.00 to CRAG in aid of the completion of its Secretariat.