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The Case of 649,762 Missing Motor Vehicles in Bali

Bali Police and Tax Office Ponder What Happened to 26% of all Motor Vehicles Mysteriously 'Missing' from Tax Receipts.

(3/26/2011) Recent figures on the number of people paying motor vehicle taxes in Bali suggests more than 600,000 vehicle are missing, potentially operating without paying any annual road taxes.

According to DenPost, variances in the number of vehicles on the books of the Bali traffic police and data maintained by provincial revenue auditors count some 649,762 vehicles in Bali as operating without paying any road tax.

The Bali vehicle registry office shows that through 2010 there were 2,365,437 vehicle operating in Bali. But, from that total, only 1,715,675 were paying their yearly tax bill - leaving 649,762 vehicle unaccounted for.

Of the 1,715,675 vehicles paying their road taxes, 15,5% (266,396) are four-wheeled vehicles while the remaining 84.5% (1,449,279) are two-wheeled motorcycles.

When police and provincial tax officials official were asked to explain the discrepancy of 649,762 missing vehicles, they counted among the "missing" vehicles those operated by people who are not paying their road taxes, missing vehicles, old vehicles no longer in use, vehicles destroyed by fire or accidents, and those under criminal concealment of cars and motorcycles.

Provincial revenue officials and police from the motor registry department are examining ways to bring errant motorists and their vehicles into line. In this regard, joint street side inspections by tax officials and the police are planned as one of several remedial steps.

Many observers, however, question the resolve of the police to address the problem of unregistered vehicles operating in Bali. If the current figures suggesting that 26% of all the vehicles on the road are illegal is correct, this revelation automatically begs the question as to why the frequent road side inspection of passing vehicles seldom results in the confiscation of unregistered vehicles and the apprehension of their operators.