The Jamaica Automobile Association (JAA) will be adding the 17.5% General Consumption Tax (GCT) to its annual membership fees and other service charges as of August 1, 2011. Previously this cost was included in all fees.
In announcing the new policy recently, Duane Ellis, JAA General Manager said, “This is not an increase in our fees; simply that the Association is now passing on this tax to its members, as is common practice among retailers and services providers.”
The Central Avenue based organisation provides 24/7 emergency roadside assistance, through its network of technicians across the island, to help stranded members.
Mr. Ellis said the Auto club had been “absorbing the GCT cost in its fees for a number of years” but admits that due to “inflationary trends the Association has added the tax in order to continue to deliver the same high level of service.”
The JAA currently offers two membership packages for members: Gold for $4,100 and Platinum for $7,000; and both offer a variety of services including—accident and roadside assistance, document expiry reminders and renewal services.
To cushion the impact of this change, the JAA has introduced a Monthly Payment Package that will allow persons to pay for their membership at a rate of $400 per month. Under this plan, persons will have access to all roadside assistance services; however, the JAA will provide ‘pay as you go’ towing services for these members.
Members will be able switch “To the regular Gold Membership Package during the first three monthly payments, by simply paying the difference,” he pointed out, adding that, “a two month payment deposit of $800 will be needed for each new package registration.”
Additionally, members of Jamaica National Building Society (JNBS), and family members who share the same home address can receive a 10% discount on membership fees. Senior citizens 60 years and older will receive a 20% discount.
All members can benefit from the JAA’s Show Your Card & Save Discount Partners, which provide services to the organisation’s members at reduced rates. The internationally recognised programme offers savings at more than 150 merchants locally and over 150,000 entities overseas.