Expatica news

VVD plan to tax motorists per kilometre

11 February 2004

AMSTERDAM — The Liberal VVD party has attracted support from its coalition government partners for plans to change the vehicle tax system so that the motorist’s final bill will be determined by the kilometres driven and the safety and environmental cleanliness of the car.

The VVD said it wanted to scrap the existing tax on car purchases and the generic motor vehicle tax in exchange for its new system, news agency ANP reported on Tuesday.

The plan presented by VVD MP Pieter Hofstra can anticipate support from coalition colleagues the Christian Democrat CDA and Democrat D66. Together the three parties hold a small majority in the 150-seat Lower House of Parliament, the Tweede Kamer.

CDA spokesman Frans de Neree tot Baberich said the proposal was “a good start”, while D66 MP Bert Bakker said the plan was “fine”. But both the CDA and D66 regretted the fact the VVD did not stipulate a different levy based on time and place, a so-called peak-hour tax.

Like many other Dutch political parties, the VVD has been toying with a different motor vehicle tax system so that the use of a vehicle is taxed more heavily than possession. But plans such as a kilometre levy and tool gates — which would help reduce pressure on the nation’s congested roads — have up to now failed to gather support.

Hofstra also said the Cabinet was taking too long to formulate new plans, prompting him to propose his alternative.

The Liberals have proposed a three-part motor vehicle tax system. Besides a fixed rate for every driven kilometre, there will also be a variable rate for the safety and environmental friendliness of the car. The safer and cleaner someone’s vehicle is, the cheaper it becomes.

The fixed motor vehicle tax presently earns the government almost EUR 6 billion per year and about 100 billion kilometres are driven each year. Hofstra’s kilometre levy will be thus an average EUR 0.06 per kilometre.

Branch industries Bovag and RAI are pleased with the proposal, but Milieudefensie (Environment Defence) said the proposal was a “pacifier”. The Stichting Natuur en Milieu (Nature and Environment Foundation) said it was “a careful step in the right direction”.

[Copyright Expatica News 2004]

Subject: Dutch news