Motorist hit by road user charges

AL WILLIAMS
Last updated 05:00 11/09/2012
Motor home owner Mervyn Tyree is unhappy with changes to road user charges that will see his costs rise around 90 per cent.
JOHN BISSET/Fairfax NZ
TAX HIKE: Motor home owner Mervyn Tyree is unhappy with changes to road user charges that will see his costs rise around 90 per cent.

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A hike in road user charges has left a motor home owner frustrated that he now has to pay based on his maximum load weight, regardless of how much he is actually carrying.

Mervyn Tyree lives permanently aboard his customised 14.7 tonne bus which has been given a road user charge weight of 21 tonnes under changes to the licensing system.

His bus, like all other diesel vehicles, now has its own permanent road user charges (RUC) weight, after the Road User Charges Act 2012 took effect on August 1.

Operators previously nominated a licence weight for RUC purposes.

The vehicle, which he had built in 2009, has a Mitsubishi Fuso Fighter truck chassis with three axles and dual wheels. The chassis is rated to 23 tonnes.

Mr Tyree is now paying $360.80 in RUCs per 1000 kilometres, which is nearly double the $183.03 he paid when drivers had the option of nominating licence weights. Mr Tyree has written to Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee asking him about the cost increase.

"It is not fair; why doesn't the Government make a separated licensing system for motor homes?

"I want the Government to weigh my vehicle and tell me why they've got a 21 tonne sticker on it.

"They need to make a class of licence for motor homes."

Truckies also have to pay based on their maximum load weight, regardless of how much they are actually carrying.

Hilton Haulage director Peter McAuley said the new system had aggregated road user charges, costing his firm 4.5 per cent more.

"One of the reasons it was implemented was to avoid cheats and reduce evasion; there's always winners and losers."

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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