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Environment agency backs national road tolls

The Local · 15 Apr 2010, 09:09

Published: 15 Apr 2010 09:09 GMT+02:00

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According to daily Berliner Zeitung, in an unpublished study, the agency (UBA) said such a toll on passenger cars, known as a Pkw-Maut, would be the best way to tax car traffic and protect the environment.

Such a charge could cost each motorist several hundred euros per year.

UBA president Jochen Flasbarth told the paper: “The widely-applied toll is the most proper solution, because the costs are paid where they occur.”

At present, motoring costs the state €47 billion more than petrol and vehicle taxes bring in, he said.

The introduction of the toll could help pay for the construction and maintenance of roads and the upgrading of motorway networks, he added.

In the view of the UBA, a toll based on how far motorists drove would be an ecological tax, meaning the rate could be dropped for clean and efficient “green” cars. It could also be raised in areas that were heavily burdened by traffic or were in particular need of environmental protection.

“If the Cologne ring is congested in the morning, it would become more expensive at this time. That leads to a more evenly distributed use of roads, and is also good for the environment,” Flasbarth said.

Transport Minister Peter Ramsauer, however, rejected the suggestion of a national toll on passenger cars.

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“The coalition agreement doesn’t order it,” Ramsauer said at a conference of transport ministers in Bremen.

His state colleagues also spoke against such a toll. “I don’t regard a car toll as practicable,” said Thuringia’s minister, Christian Carius.

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

09:38 April 15, 2010 by twisted
1. Take away the tax free income of politicians in the Bundestag and Bundesrat.

2. I knew this would come sooner or later. Actually, I am not against it but only if it results in lower taxes at the gas pump.

3. Get big transit trucks off the autobahn and onto trains. Any truck traveling more than (amount to be determined) kilometers in a stretch should be mounted on a train for that portion of the travel.

4. More control over the deliver vans that whiz by at 100 KM plus and are driven by ignorant, cigarette smoking, telephone talking 20 + drivers...they are one of the biggest hazards on the roadways, not just the autobahn.

5. Take away the tax free income of politicians in the Bundestag and Bundesrat.
09:44 April 15, 2010 by berlinski
I am fully in agreement with this. It would be a good way to encourage car sharing and reduce the amount of cars on the roads. Look at any traffic jam and count how many cars have just the driver in them. The environment, economy and roads cannot maintain this for much longer.
10:13 April 15, 2010 by auniquecorn
Sure , Germany needs more Taxes added on top of the short work weeks, And ain´t no way they´ll cut taxes on GAS.

it´s better to get unemployed and collect Hertz IV.
10:45 April 15, 2010 by William Thirteen
i'm all in favor of taxing these producers of noise & toxic gasses - but is per kilometer taxation sensible? especially given the amount of time vehicles are stuck in traffic. wouldn't it make more sense to properly tax the fuel - as the fuel in / toxins out ratio would seem to be a more accurate measure. also i would be interested in seeing an enumeration of where the taxes are spent. i would hope they would be spent on remediating the environmental & health damages as well as supporting programs for pedestrian, bicycle and other travel alternatives.
11:13 April 15, 2010 by Clapoti
Yeah just another tax... how are other countries coping with a lower tax burden than Germany... surely the tax money is not well spent here. There should definitely be a huge reform here... but it will probably never happen.

You have to pay a huge amount of income taxes, huge percentage of VAT, you need to pay taxes every year according to the size of your engine, then a huge percentage of taxes on fuel... and now they want to add road taxes :(
11:16 April 15, 2010 by Portnoy
I'm as green as it gets but this is crap. Cardrivers already pay an inordinate amount of tax on gas. If you don't want cars on the road, then pass laws that limit the number of cars instead of shifting fiscal burdens.
14:07 April 15, 2010 by Clapoti
I agree with you Portnoy.
09:27 April 16, 2010 by biker hotel harz
I wondered how long it would be before they tried this on in Germany!

Just another stealth tax under the guise of 'lets help cut emmisions' and all that crap.

In the words of Noddy Holder 'Stand up and fight'!
11:20 April 16, 2010 by michael4096
@Clapoti & Portnoy - I disagree with both of you. Like democracy, taxes are a lousy way of achieving required goals, but we don't know any better way.
18:54 April 18, 2010 by aceroni
Maybe some of you didn't read well: "At present, motoring costs the state €47 billion more than petrol and vehicle taxes bring in, he said."

So according to this calculation, taxes are definetely not too high, on the contrary..

My only concern is that all the objectives of this tax could be achieved by some additional raising of the gas taxes, a tax that inherently depend on the distance traveled and on the efficiency (environmental friendliness) of the engine. But of course that is really unpopular with gas at 1.45Eur/Liter.
10:52 April 19, 2010 by jlmcnamara
Maybe Bureaucrats should be taxed for talking crap and wasting everyone's time. I just googled this Flasbarth guy and dude has never had a real job in his life. Instead, this guy probably went to a German university where he lived off taxpayers for a decade and rode a woman's bicycle and took part in protest parades every Wednesday. Young employed Germans drive to their apprenticeships during the week and to their parents on the weekends. Domestic tourism is trying hard to compete with the sunnier countries in the south and this idiot would rather Germans jump on the next plane to Thailand. The congestion tax is also idiotic, pushing traffic on to other roads and to ridiculous times of night. Yes, German roads are very nice and pricey and should be paid for by everyone. Or does he expect to levy €47 billion in tolls? Douchebag.
13:26 April 20, 2010 by chimpansi
If the final tax amount is very less then its not worth it. Cost of collecting the tax is probably higher than the tax amount itself. Tax is not always the right answer. Govt should think about cutting public spending. Why do we need so many police officers? There isnt not much crime. Govt should think about disinvestment(read DB). Put a tax on capital gains atleast for short term(which is missing in this country). Someone here has suggested tax on trucks. This would only mean indirect increase of food cost. This insanity with tax has to come to an end.
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