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Cabinet finalises kilometer tax plan

Monday 16 November 2009

The Netherlands is set to become the first country in Europe to replace road tax with a kilometer charge for all motorists, over 10 years since the idea was first put forward.

If the legislation is passed by parliament, motorists will start paying tax on every kilometer they drive, which the government hopes will reduce traffic jams and pollution.

On Friday, ministers agreed that the tax will be three cents a kilometer when the charge is introduced in 2012, rising to 6.7 cents by 2018 - for the greenest cars . But if revenues generated by the tax are not in line with expectations, the tax can be adjusted, the transport ministry said.

Rush hour

The tax will be higher during the rush hour and for more polluting vehicles.

To make sure motorists are not worse off, road tax will be scrapped and the purchase tax on new cars will be reduced. Some 60% of drivers will be better off, the government claims.

The transport ministry said on Friday it expected fatal accidents will fall by 7% and carbon emissions would be down by 10%. Traffic jams will be halved and the amount of kilometres driven will go down by 15%.

Each car on the roads will be fitted with a GPS device which will use satellites to monitor where and when the car is driven and send the information to a central billing point.


The ministry said the information collected about motoring habits would be 'legally and technically' protected and would not be accessible to other government agencies.

The ANWB motoring organisation and green groups welcomed the final go-ahead for the kilometer tax. At last it means 'a fair cost for mobility,' ANWB director Guido van Woerkom told the Volkskrant.

But some opposition MPs say the tax will be used by the government to generate extra income and is a danger to privacy.

'Even in the former Soviet Union they did not have as much control,' Liberal VVD MP Charlie Aptrots said in the Telegraaf.

Aptrots said the government should put the estimated €4bn start-up cost for the scheme into improving the road network and other anti-congestion measures.

Do you support a kilometer tax? Take part in our poll

© DutchNews.nl

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Readers' comments (17)

Why nobody mentions that we already pay a kilometer tax when buying fuel? The more I drive, the more gas I need to buy, the more money goes to the government via excise.

By peter | November 16, 2009 8:50 AM

where will be our privacy? chips in passport, Gps tracking system in cars, what will be next, chip in our legs?? lol.

By kwabena | November 16, 2009 9:34 AM

I live in Maastricht and I drive to work in Brussels everyday. I cover approximately 55.000 km per year. I think it is grossly unfair that I have to pay so much tax to drive my car when I use less than 15 kms of the Dutch highway each way!

By fmalonzo | November 16, 2009 11:48 AM

I fully agree on this tax and I would put it even higher than estimated. I still don't understand why people in Holland stick to their cars and drive everywhere. There is a great network of trains, public transport and biking possibilities and still you see every day a long traffic jam queue of commuting people. Just a small example, fireworks show in Scheveningen - additional trams and buses where provided and what everybody did? Went by car and completely clogged the road for people who actually live there ? Dutch citizens should be greatful for the public transport system they have and should use it more often. Plus I hate breathing fumes when cycling to work..

By Andy | November 16, 2009 11:50 AM

I hope this new tax is only valid for driving in the netherlands...what happens when we drive out of netherlands will we have to pay km tax for driving in other countries also.

By carl | November 16, 2009 12:14 PM

I have no doubt that it will not be long before babies when born will have a chip implanted under the skin.. and that is not a lol.

By alanposting | November 16, 2009 12:42 PM

Peter good point. The petrol tax is also a LOT MORE VISIBLE, meaning that you may cut down on your journeys if you see the weekly petrol bill, but not when you get the tax bill once every year.

Have they considered paragraph 8 of the ECHR? I cannot find anything there which would allow the NL to do this.

By Mattias | November 16, 2009 1:16 PM

Just wondering if the Government will be increasing the allowances, or providing concessions to, low income, elderly, ill, and those disabled who have no choice but to use their own vehicles, or will they be discriminated against, as seems to be the 'norm' in Holland these days?

By Gerard | November 16, 2009 3:41 PM

I do understand why people in the Netherlands stick to their car. Any idea how expensive public transportation is for an average family; father, mother and 2 kids? I vote for free public transportation.

By Suraci | November 16, 2009 4:18 PM

Nederlands i think is one of the most money hungry goverment in the world, while people are strugaling to survive at the moment everthing is going up, insurance, gas, now road tax, the banks mess up we have to pick up the bill and so on, there is upsolutly nothing free in this country, i come from Canada i never have to pay for parking, last time i was shopping i forgot the ticket i got 50eu. fine

By Kristy | November 16, 2009 4:50 PM

€€€ Public transport or the car? €€€
Either way we lose..

I solved this problem nearly 30 years ago by riding mopeds & scooters, but can well afford to holiday in the tropics annually, and always during the Winter months.
Anyways.. how many of the wives are working part time just to cover the car costs?

By stevie | November 16, 2009 7:16 PM

These are quite retarded reasons to plug tracking devices to the people. If the government was really concerned about the environment, raise the tax on the fuel. If they were concerned about the traffic jams, then make the public transport cheaper, more efficient and commuter friendly. And the privacy - what if the government decides that the next step will be people getting instant speed tickets and getting spammed depending on where are they driving? If the law is passed, it could be changed as easy.

I feel the bad smell of a mixture of government incompetence plus secret deals with the public transport companies and some producer of tracking devices.

By George | November 17, 2009 3:24 AM

What worries me about this is the ambiguity of the change. The costs to the motorist are presented in their lowest possible level (only 0.03 cents in 2012) and then the benefits are presented at the highest possible level.

But reading this article and others on AP news wire and you see that the 0.03 cents is just the start. If you drive a greater polluting car (than deemed necessary), what ever that means - considering the blatant manipulation of energy labels by car manufacturers - then you pay more than the 0.03, if you drive at peak times, then you pay more, if you drive on roads that the government deems are usually busier then guess what? - you pay more. So what EXACTLY will we be paying every month? Certainly not 0.03 and certainly not 0.06...
I currently pay 84 Euro per month in road tax for my car - under the new scheme - if I drove the same amount of KMs as I do now (and I work partially from home when I can) I'd run up 75 Euro per month in KM charges under the 0.03 rate - but of course - My car isn't an energy label A - it's older, I drive the A4 every day and sometimes I have to make a meeting that requires me to drive at peak times and then meet with customers at their premises later in the day... so how much will I really be paying extra? - And then if they double the rate, I'll end up paying 175 Euro per month (and that is the best case)

Hardly fair.

Then there is the point about purchase tax. The AP report stated it would be removed, now I read it will be *reduced*. This is a double edged sword, in one blow it will wipe the value of every used car in the land by at least the amount they *reduce* or remove it. On the other hand it makes a new car more attractive, but of course - that means a new car must be manufactured - a massive environmental impact - far more than running an older car every day, but that's another country's problem...

And then their is the data and privacy protection elements - we are told that our information will be safe and not be used for any other purposes... but that coming from a country that statistically taps more phone calls than any other country in the world.

By Mark | November 17, 2009 7:14 AM

Honestly...who is really surprised by this? Every year the government comes up with a new way to take your money and states all the 'benefits''. Benefits for who, is not very clear. The reason they do it is because they can! No one here is gonna complain, not too much anyway. Imagine what would happen if they tried to introduce this tax in France! We all know, but here people just complain under their breath, occaisonally on the web but thats it. Nothing will change and next year there will be another new non sensical tax.

By Jennifer | November 17, 2009 9:42 AM

Just be relaxed. If one thing is true in this country that issues like this are discussed for a decade. Not mentioning the many technical problems (see the example with the OV-Chipcard) are far from being resolved.
I would like a km-based Tax. But I am pretty sure that this system will not make it until 2020 and then I am retired in a "car friendly" country ;-)

By Mika | November 17, 2009 1:26 PM

The solution is free public transport.

By fpteditors | November 30, 2009 3:34 PM

As someone who lives in the USA, we think for years the European countries have been much more on track to reduce carbon pollution with small better mileage cars and higher gas taxes. The last car we bought was a Prius and we really like it but with the changes in gas formulas (more ethanol mixed in)our mileage has dropped about 10%. I'd like to see something like this here with the funds dedicated to increased high speed rail, public transportation and other infrastructure improvements. For an interesting read "$20 per gallon". US citizens are truly spoiled when it comes to fuel prices.

By John Countryman | December 25, 2009 6:47 PM

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