Drivers to face road tax for travel in Wallonia
13 September 2005
BRUSSELS – Wallonia could be set to introduce a 25 euro tax disc for using its roads, it was announced on Tuesday.
The proposal has already angered the Flanders’ government, as well as the Flemish organisation of transporters SAV.
Walloon minister, Michel Daerden, who is in charge of the region’s road repairs, said the disc would be compulsory from 1 January 2006 and would generate some EUR 25 million a year for much-needed work to the road system.
The disc would be posted to Walloon residents and, in return for buying it, they would see the tax on car radios scrapped.
Drivers living outside the region, but using Wallonia’s roads, would have to buy the disc at post offices on the Wallonia borders or at petrol stations, as happens in Switzerland or Austria.
Daerden’s plan is now waiting to receive the green light from the rest of the Walloon government.
SAV, though, has already announced that if the scheme goes ahead it will complain about it to the European Commission. Unlike ordinary drivers, they point out that transport companies already pay additional taxes.
Flanders’ mobility minister Kathleen Van Brempt has also rubbished the plan. “What I can’t accept is that Flemish people who cross several regions to go to work will have to pay EUR 25 extra to Wallonia,” she said.
“It’s an extra tax increase which will go to the Walloon region.”
Van Brempt is in favour of a tax which would see foreign drivers contributing to the upkeep of Belgium’s roads, but argues the issue of tax discs needs to be tackled at a national, rather than just regional, level.
[Copyright Expatica News 2005]
Subject: Belgian news