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Netherlands to be first country in Europe to adopt green tax on cars

The Dutch government says that it wants to introduce a ‘green’ tax to replace the annual road tax on cars. The system, which will charge drivers by the kilometer from 2012, is aimed at cutting carbon dioxide emissions by 10% and halving congestion. The Netherlands Transport Ministry says, “Each vehicle will be equipped with a GPS device that tracks how many kilometers are driven and when and where. This data will then be sent to a collection agency that will send out the bill. Traffic jams will be halved and it helps the environment.”

Ownership and sales taxes, about 25% of the cost of a new car, will be scrapped and replaced by the ‘price per kilometer’ system. Dutch motorists driving a standard family saloon will be charged 3 euro cents per kilometer (7 US cents per mile) in 2012. That would increase to 6.7 euro cents (16 US cents per mile) in 2018, according to the proposed law. Singapore has a similar scheme for charging according to the amount of travel.

The Ministry says trucks, commercial vehicles and bigger cars emitting more carbon dioxide will be assessed at a higher rate. Each vehicle type will have a base rate, which depends on its size, weight and emissions. Taxis, vehicles for the disabled, buses, motorcycles and classic cars will all be exempt. “An alternative payment will be introduced for foreign vehicles,” the ministry statement adds. The Dutch cabinet approved the road tax bill on November 13. It will need the backing of parliament before it becomes law.
 

November 17, 2009

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