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Increase heavy vehicle charges by 2.6 percent: NTC

NTC proposal will cut fuel tax credit to 11.98 cents per litre and push up registration fees by 2.6 percent

By Brad Gardner | February 27, 2013

Trucking operators may soon need to scrape around for extra cash to cover a proposed 2.6 percent increase to heavy vehicle charges on July 1.

The National Transport Commission (NTC) has announced its 2013-2014 annual adjustment recommendation, highlighting increased government expenditure on roads as the reason for the increase.

If introduced, the 2.6 percent increase will apply to registration fees and add an extra 0.66 cents per litre to the fuel excise, taking it to 26.16 cents and cutting the industry’s fuel tax credit to 11.98 cents per litre.

“Spending on roads and bridges across all levels of government over the past seven years has increased,” the NTC says.

“There is a strong link between increased investment in the road network and improving the productivity and safety of heavy vehicles.”

The increase to registration fees are due to happen automatically, but federal Infrastructure and Transport Minister Anthony Albanese must consult with stakeholders before raising the fuel excise.

The NTC says it will undertake a four-week consultation process before submitting a final recommendation to transport ministers.

It says there has been a 6.6 percent increase in road expenditure from $2.6 billion to $2.8 billion. The NTC says the 2.6 percent increase to charges will ensure all heavy vehicles pay their way.

“This means that there will be no cross subsidies between heavy vehicle classes as a result of the annual adjustment,” it says.

The latest proposed increase is significantly smaller than last year’s. The NTC in 2012 recommended a 10.4 percent increase, which stripped 2.4 cents per litre from the fuel tax credit.

Transport ministers agreed to substantially increase registration fees for road-trains, in part to offset cuts to A-trailer fees.

The fuel tax credit will drop a further 6.85 cents per litre on July 1 next year when the trucking industry’s two-year exemption from the carbon tax ends.

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