Ahok wants to increase taxes on private vehicles to stop flood of new cars and bikes on the road

Jakarta’s already terrible traffic is not deterring a multitude of new vehicles from hitting the streets of the capital each day.

“In one day there are about 300-400 new cars and up to 800 motorcycles added. Each day! Each day there are around 1,000 new motorcycles and cars,” Jakarta Governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama said today, as quoted by Kompas.

In order to stem the tide of new vehicles adding to the macet, Ahok said he is proposing a 15% increase in taxes on private vehicles. The proposal has already been submitted to the Jakarta City Council.

However, Ahok noted that even if the proposal is approved by the council, because it concerns taxation, it would have to be legislated as a regional bylaw (perda) which would then have to be approved by the House of Representatives as well.

Despite the obvious need to slow down the number of new vehicles adding to Jakarta’s traffic woes, it’s likely that such a tax increase would be extremely unpopular. Many would argue it would be unfair to make it significantly more expensive to own a vehicle when the capital’s public transportation system is still lacking.

But considering the fact that Jakarta’s traffic problems are reaching near crisis levels, it would be irresponsible of the government to not apply every tactic at its disposal to cut down on the number of new vehicles. The money from the taxes could potentially be directed towards improvements in Jakarta’s public transportation services. Hopefully the local and central government will see the logic in that, or Jakarta could one day soon transform from a functioning city into one long, endless traffic jam.

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