By Andrew Nusca
Posting in Government
The Dutch government said it wants to tax each kilometer driven to curb congestion and carbon monoxide emissions.
The Transport Ministry said the change is expected to slash congestion by half and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 10 percent, according to an AFP report.
Under the new law, motorists driving a mid-size sedan would pay €0.03 per kilometer, or about $0.07 per mile. The tax would climb to €0.067, or about $0.16, per km in 2018.
The law will take effect in 2012 if passed.
"Each vehicle will be equipped with a GPS device that tracks how many kilometers are driven and when and where. This data will be then be sent to a collection agency that will send out the bill," the ministry said in a statement.
The exact tax would be based on the type and weight of automobile used. Buses, taxis, vehicles owned by the disabled and motorcycles would be exempted.
The Dutch cabinet approved the legislation Friday, but it must be passed by Parliament before becoming law.
Advocates of the tax say the majority of drivers would actually benefit because the brunt of the tax would be held by those who drive the most and farthest.
In addition, the price of a new car would significantly decrease, because taxes consist of about 25 percent of a car's sticker price.
Detractors of the tax say the proposal isn't fiscally sound and could hurt the nation's overall budget by discouraging citizens to drive.
Nov 16, 2009
colinnwn: Did you even read the article? Yes, I read the article. But it is you that doesn't understand where I'm coming from. Yeah, government taxation by the mile will cause people to drive less. I understand that. But, the problem with the "government experiment" is that, once they attain their stated goals, or even if they just achieve part of their goals, they will then have to come up with a different scheme to make up for the lost revenue after people reduce their driving and government starts getting less tax revenue. It happens every time. You tax the heck out of smoking and you'll get less in taxes when people reduce or stop smoking; you tax beer and liquor consumption and people will pay less in taxes when they reduce their consumption or stop altogether; you raise taxes on sugary soft drinks, and people will pay less in taxes when they stop drinking sugary soft drinks; you tax boat sales and people will pay less in taxes when they stop purchasing boats; you raise taxes on hotel rooms and people will take fewer trips to hotels and government revenue goes down. All of the above have consequences for government revenue, but worse than that is the effect it has on businesses in general. The more people are taxed, the less consumption there will be for products and services, and the more businesses that have to close shop, and the more people lose jobs and the less government gets to collect in taxes. It's happened before and it's happening now. When government regulates heavily or taxes heavily, the less they will have of a product and service from which to collect taxes. When government finds itself in a bind with loss of revenue, they always try to figure out something new to try to regulate and tax. It's a vicious cycle and the stupidity knows no bounds. The tax by the mile program in Europe is bound to have some very dire consequences down the line to the economy. Count on it.
Will there be problems? Yes. But America didn't become great by waiting for other countries to perfect technology. We became great by innovating, and taking smart and thoughtful risks based on available information. Here's what I wrote: But, as far as I'm concerned, let's let the Europeans be the guinea pigs; then we can use the lessons from their failed experiments to guide us. What I was actually trying to say is that America should let the Europeans experiment with their "per mile taxation", and that we Americans could draw the lessons from the "European government experiments". I never mentioned anything about letting the Europeans do the innovations. Get it???? Or, where you implying that "taxing by the mile" was innovative? The attitude implied by your reply is a very dangerous road for Americans to take. My real attitude is about not allowing government to get so intrusive that they need to even tax us by the mile. Government intervention always comes back to bite us hard. I feel that my attitude is the best approach and it is the big government advocates who are the real danger to America. Do you understand me now????
One of the goals is if I understood well indeed to increase the use of public transportation like buses and trains. They need to become more safe and supply better service, be more punctual. Besides the business traffic will put the extra costs in the consumer's bill so they are double victim (if they drive a car). Bedore everything is solved they should not start such a drastic decision in this time. My ?0.02
@adornoe The stated goal is NOT to tax the movement of people, but to discourage the use of cars and reduce pollution. Motorcycles were specifically excluded on the assumption they pollute less because they use less gas. This may be a faulty assumption depending on the pollutant discussed. They specifically want to encourage carpooling and work at home. Local shopping trips might not be affected, or only affected marginally since people could carpool, or combine errands into 1 trip, or use public transit, or buy online and have it delivered with the mailman. Will there be problems? Yes. But America didn't become great by waiting for other countries to perfect technology. We became great by innovating, and taking smart and thoughtful risks based on available information. The attitude implied by your reply is a very dangerous road for Amerincans to take.
If the form of monitoring is through GPS, would the government also insist that GPSes be mounted on... motorcycles? mopeds? bicycles? bodies of people (if people are within walking distance to work)? And, what if people opt for more car-pooling and instead of getting tax revenues from 2 or 3 or 4 cars, the government ends up with mileage revenue from just one car. The only way to recoup the mileage taxes in that case would be to mount GPSes on each of the car poolers. Also, if a person is able to request work-at-home, the taxes from the daily commute would be a total loss to the government. Leisure driving would also suffer and thus, less for the government to collect on. Trips to the local shops would also suffer since people would wait to lump all of their shopping for fewer trips. Economically, businesses would tend to get fewer shoppers since people would be driving less and frequenting shops less often. But, as far as I'm concerned, let's let the Europeans be the guinea pigs; then we can use the lessons from their failed experiments to guide us.
to mister larryptl ifyou think that trucking co. get away with out paying for the wear on the highway you had better check with your state and se wher the money goes that is payed for thefuel taxes that are charged when they dont even buy fuel in that state and the permit fees for running across the state.if you think the rail would be better then you are just as confused as the people that make the laws it can take up to 6monthes for a car to go from the east to the west or north to the south .do some research on the number of rail cars that are misplaced each year
This is not a new concept, it is just a repackaged concept. A Gas tax is just another form of "distance or usage" tax and it has been around since the beginning of the automobile. Supposedly intended to pay for the infrastructure used by automobiles, and the Gas tax was assumed to be the most fair "distance or usage" tax because the larger (less MPG) vehicles usually cause the most infrastructure wear out, and also pay the most Gas tax.
Neither. In the U.S, the Supreme Court has several decisions which recognize ( not grant ) the right of free travel. Excise taxes on consumable products are permissable, such as gasloine taxes, but this is not. Miles are not owned by the government, they are a measure of distance traveled. If I have the right to travel freely, you can not constitutionally tax my right. BTW, the COurt has several other decisons which state that the exercise of rights can not be taxed.
Apologies, fines are 18,500 euro for a non functional device and 74,000 euros for intentional tampering. In the Netherlands we use points where you use commas and vice versa. :-)
Living in Netherlands, I can actually comment on all your questions and concerns: Why not tax gasoline? Because gasoline is already taxed so much in the Netherlands, it is one of the most expensive countries for buying gasoline in the western world (1.45 euros per litre at this moment). So taxing gasoline even more would only make gasoline smuggling more profitable. Besides, electric cars don't need gasoline. And of course, the official line: "By taxing gasoline we cannot discriminate between a rural driver driving on a quiet road and one in the cities driving in rush hour". Traffic jams are quite severe in the Netherlands and one of the stated purposes of this taxation is to reduce congestion by discouraging driving a car. Why not jam the GPS/Tamper with the device? Because the proper operation of your device will be periodically checked by cameras on the roadside. Any driving with a non-functional device will be fined with 18.500 euros and up to a half year prison time. Any intentional tampering with the device will be fined with 74.000 euros and up to 4 years prison. If you have a defective device, you have up to 8 hours to report it to prevent fines. How about privacy concerns? The official line is: "The device will not transmit gps positions or routes driven, just the number of kilometers driven and the appropriate rates. Only the owner of the car will be able to check his/her invoice by reading the information stored in the device." Yeah right... We don't believe that BS either. How do they try to sell it to the public? 1. By saying that 60% of the car owners will pay less than now. Most people don't believe this, and besides they forget that currently dutch motorists pay a provincial tax on top of the national road-tax. This provincial tax will be abolished too but the provinces will still need money in the future. These new taxes are not taken into account in this calculation. 2. By saying that traffic jams will reduce. Well... most people do still need to go to work each day... Very few people drive in a traffic jam if they can avoid it. Will this tax ever be implemented? Don't know. Parliament is actually quite divided at the moment, and next elections will probably change the government. The parties that will probably win big in the next elections (in 2011) are right now opposed to this tax. Public opinion is very much against this tax, most people don't trust the government.
What are fuel taxes if not mileage taxes? The european prices of fuel are higher than ours and now the government wants to double-dip and add a mileage tax. Wasn't that the kind of thing that sparked the Boston tea party and ultimately a revolution? Any idiot who want's to vote for such a tax should increase his or her own taxes first.
You are NOT living green by leaving the big city, especially if you need to drive there to pick up food, medicine, etc. Higher density is a greener way to live, as the cost of transportation, delivery (of goods, electricity, etc) are all lower and consume less energy. So unless you are growing your own food, providing your own power, and staying home, your footprint is going to be larger than the city-dwellers. If you don't like being taxes to drive into the city, consider mail-order options, as the mailman/delivery driver likely has to head out to your area anyway.
This would be horrible but this is Obamas dream for the US or whatever he decides to name it after his conversion to a Socilist regime and he ends democracy and freedom.
Americas founders left Europe to escape the idea that the people are owned by monarchs or governments. While this taxation and invasion of privacy is not such an outrage there, it could come here - especially under the present administration, with it's disdain for being limited by the Constitution. Remember this next November!
If the tax is intended to pay for maintenance of the roads, then it should only consider the distance driven and the weight of the vehicle. They should use the odometer - which is already built into every powered vehicle. If they want to require a GPS, then it's obvious that they have some other agenda than they have stated. Think of all the data mining they can do if they know every place that a vehicle went, and what time it went there, and how fast it was going.
An enterprising person might start selling low power (under 100 milliwatts) transmitters to plug into the dash. If the frequency of the transmitters matched that of gps, the GPS signal would be swamped and not be able to operate. The driver could take the device out of the car and with her when she's not in the car, or when she takes the car to be serviced or inspected. Ahhh, the technilogical solutions!
If I disable the GPS will I pay no tax? It seems to me that the Netherlands is about 300 miles north to south so how far can can you drive in the Netherlands? Would I have to pay for driving in Belgium too? It sounds great for the expensive gas guzzler drivers. Do they make the laws? Make the people who can only afford small cars pay for the roads. They will always tax you but a fuel tax makes more sense.
In this country, when government becomes distructive of the rights of the citizens, we have the right to alter it. The US government has been edging closer and closer to having itself altered. Douglas Ledet email@example.com
Why don't we just stay home, and go on state support? I mean, if they don't want me to drive, then I should do what they desire, right? If they don't want me to save money, then I should do what they desire, right? If they don't want me to choose my doctor, then I should do what they desire, right? I might as well stay home, and do what I desire - nothing. I mean, the world is a beautiful place. Why do I work so hard, take risks with my money, and try to build a life for my family wen it's pretty clear that the state thinks that they know better what to do with my time and effort than I do?
Not surprised. Europeans have long been under the delusion that the government owns them. No, in the U.S. there is no excuse for a per-mile tax. Too many of our taxes already represent an underhanded way to manipulate the behavior of citizens. This social engineering must come to an end. If they want to increase revenue, they need to lower taxes, not raise them. It's been proven to increase revenue. But, in the past, when revenue went up, gov't spending surpassed the increased revenue. A tax serves as a disincentive. It always discourages an activity, never encourages it. A flat, 20% or less tax on all goods and services, no exceptions, no loopholes for *anybody*, would increase revenues better than taxes targeted at specific behavior or industry. Any variation in a tax, or targeted tax, is nothing less than an attempt by the government, not to acquire revenue to conduct its legitimate duties, but to social engineer the nation into the image of what those self-same politicians believe it should be. And the government has no right to coerce my behavior, be it good or ill. And a school-full of "special needs" children has less evidence of incompetence than does the current mob in Washington.
In the states we heavily subsidize the trucking industry indirectly. A typical truck weighing 80,000 lbs will do as much damage to the roads as 10,000 cars of 4000 lbs each. Each truck will do about $50,000 to $100,000 worth of damage to the freeways each year, but they only pay $5000 to $10,000 in highway usage taxes. the rest comes from taxes on the sale of fuel that you and I pay. When they start taxing by the mile the mindless spinless parasites who exist off of our road usage taxes will suddenly realize their revenue stream is drying up. The solution is to tax a vehicle on how much damage it does to the roadway, plus a levy for building new roads. If the trucking industry paid in road usage taxes the amount necessary to cover their share of the damage they cause to the roads, much of their cargo would be transfered to railroads and other more efficienct means of transporting goods across the country. This is where the real fuel savings will come from.
if it passes, it will start out that people will conserve on driving, then the gov will start loosing tax money. then guess what, they will bring back the orignal taxes along with new one so you will be double taxed. any time a new tax is added they promise to get rid of the old tax but somehow the people wind up being taxed upon tax upon tax, when does it all stop. vote them all out i say, make all there pay what the average joe makes and limit there terms to one. governmrnt should be by the people and for the people. not for self gain.
...when they say they're going to create a new tax to make another go away. Sooner or later using one rationalization for another, we're going to end up with mileage, fuel, and registration taxes. nlward: In case you haven't noticed, the progressive-environmentalists want those not living in the city to pay more. They'd rather everyone live in the city than contribute to suburban sprawl. So don't expect much sympathy about having to pay to drive more. It's the price you pay for escaping the dysfunction of our urban areas.
What's the point of charging an electric or hybrid car with per km tax? Oh, yes, no gas tax revenues.
And what about those who live out in the boonies and must, of necessity, drive more miles to get to the pharmacy for their medications and the grocery store for food? What about those who are retired and on fixed income!? Seems to me the further we are away from the big cities, the more we'll be taxed. Even if we're already living green by leaving the big city!
What is wrong with the way the US goverment does it NOW... i.e. by the GALLON. No muss, no fuss, no expensive infrastructure, little opportunity for cheating, simple "incentive" system that says people who burn less gas get taxed less ... and ...drum roll please.... No BIG BROTHER?
In Italy (but I think in NL too) we have high taxes on gasoline. Since a car make more kilometers, it needs more gas, therefore we are already paying taxes on a mileage base... And this way is quite simpler than a complicate usage of GPS or other devices. Morevoer, if a car is "eco-friendly", that is, it uses little fuel, it will pay less taxes than a car with heavvy emission.
this might sell n the Nederlands. If the concerns were honest, raising fuel taxes would do more to the publicly stated goals. Just as it would in the United States.
It comes down to taxes then cut the defense budget, end the dumb (corporate) wars, and State department contractor budget by two thirds that should cover it by some 500-600 Billion dollars. Need taxes then create laws that tax the CEO Options not provide loop holes. And while you are at it implement a Alternate Minimum Tax on the 60% of the US corporations that currently pay NO INCOME TAXES to the US government. Heard anything about the 3,000 or 30,000 people who have 'secret' Swiss bank accounts sheltering taxable dollars. No, I didn't think so. So if it is really about taxes, which is what the article sounds like, then let's try some of these before starting the GPS whizz-kid tax scheme mentioned in the article. Besides Europe actually has mass transit, which for most of America is NONE available.
the u.s. is too large for such a system to work eqwually for all its residents. for the netherlands , where driving across country is like driving to another nearby city in the u.s., it would be madness. but then stupidity seems to be the hallmark of congree
Why, it's the sound of Big Brother salivating at the prospect: "Each vehicle will be equipped with a GPS device that tracks how many kilometers are driven and when and where." Yeah, great idea, Mr. Orwell.