Spain mulling tax on heavy vehicles: press

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Spain's government is considering imposing a tax on heavy vehicles which use the country's motorways, a system already in place in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, a newspaper said Monday.

Under the plan, the vehicles weighing more than 3.5 tonnes would have to pay a tax of 10 euros (13 dollars) cents per kilometre, El Mundo said, quoting a government report.

It said the measure would bring in more 3.0 billion euros (3.9 billion dollars) a year to Spain, which has just emerged from recession.

"Some of the revenues could be used to cover (problems in) the motorway transport sector" as well as financing some public works, report said.

Spanish infrastructure group Abertis said last week that traffic on Spanish motorways had fallen 4.8 percent in the first six months of the year, due in part to the economic crisis.

Transport Minister Jose Blanco also announced last month that the government may be forced to freeze or cancel some 200 public works projects as part of austerity cuts to rein in its massive public deficit.

Switzerland, Austria and Germany already impose taxes on heavy vehicles, while Portugal and France are considering similar measures.

© 2010 AFP

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