According to BBC, Transport for London confirmed that the presidential motorcade was charged, but as many other such bills before it, this too is yet to be paid. Apparently, the Americans have a hard time digesting the congestion charge, with their embassy in London already owing a huge 5.2 million pounds to the city.
London's Mayor Boris Johnson, who met with Obama during his visit and tried to reason with him for the huge unpaid bill. No effects have been felt in the city's vault until now, however.
"But on the wider principle of US and other diplomats following on the lead of the majority of good embassies in London, who pay the congestion charge, a discussion was had, points of views were exchanged, I would say that discussions were ongoing," the Mayor told BBC.
Apparently, the two sides have a hard time deciding whether the charge is a tax or a… charge. The US says it is a tax, meaning that, according to the 1960 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, needs not be paid (it prohibits the imposition of this sort of tax on diplomatic missions). The Brits keep insisting however that this is not a tax, but a charge.
Not only the US finds itself in this situation, though. In all, London is owed a total of 51 million pounds by the various embassies who refuse to pay. Alongside the US, the biggest bills belong to Russia and Japan.