Joan Collins PALMA is the ninth most expensive Spanish city for car tax, after Barcelona, San Sebastian, Tarragona, Lleida, Bilbao, Cordoba, Granada, Girona and Cadiz according to the European Motorists Association (AEA). The tax for a medium sized vehicle costs 62.29 euros in Palma. In Barcelona, which heads the list, it costs 68.15 euros in sharp contrast to Melilla where, at 17.04 euros, it is the cheapest. The two other cheapest towns are Soria (with 39.19 euros) and Zamora (41.92). Palma is also among the 10 most expensive cities for tax on motorcycles of between 250 and 500cc. The tax for this group is 27.69 euros in Palma while the leader in this group, San Sebastian, charges 33 euros, way above Melilla (with 7.57 euros) and Ceuta (10 euros). Mopeds in Palma pay 8.08 euros tax, still near the head of the list as no city charges more than 9 euros, while there are cities like Melilla where the tax is little more than 2.21 euros. So the difference in the car tax that various councils levy is 300 percent, as the tax is four times higher in Barcelona than in Melilla according to the AEA. The association complained about “tax havens”: cities where drivers can pay their car tax but without really living or driving there. This tax, created 16 years ago, generates an annual income of 1'760 million euros for councils, which have the freedom to fix the tax within certain margins. Among the councils with the cheapest car tax are: Melilla; Ceuta; Soria; Zamora; Pamplona; Palencia; Pontevedra; Alicante; Caceres; and Huelva. The difference in the cost of motorcycle tax is even greater, some 340 percent between buying it in Melilla (7.57 euros) and in San Sebastian (33.33 euros) for a 500cc machine. The tax also varies in different towns in the same province. In Robledo de Chavela (outside Madrid) the car tax is seven times less that in Madrid itself, while in Aguilar de Segarra (outside Barcelona) the tax is eight times less than in Barcelona. The AEA believes that the origin of these differences lies in the abolition of different provincial registrations in September 2000. They explained that the high cost of the tax in some towns had caused thousands of motorists to change their names to the electoral register of another town where the tax is cheaper, although they don't actually live there. The association also said that car hire companies “had started the exit to tax havens”. Because of this, in some towns there appears to be hardly any variation in the population, while the populations of cheaper towns have appeared to grow by 2'000 percent. The association highlights that five towns of less than 10'000 residents last year registered 23 percent of company cars because of their “privileged” tax status. The five main “tax havens” identified by the Association are; Aguilar de Segarra (235 residents) and Rajadell (451 residents) in Barcelona; Robledo de Chavela (3'199 residents) and Moralzarzal (9'973 residents) in Madrid; and Relleu (1'022 residents) in Alicante.