SUV owners face extra tax (update)

The government plans to introduce a new tax on high emission vehicles such as the BMW X5 and Citroen C6, junior finance minister Jan Kees de Jager says in an interview with Friday’s Telegraaf.

The measure to boost the cost of buying an SUV (sports utility vehicle) will raise some €100m for the treasury every year, De Jager told the paper.
At the same time, the minister plans to cut the extra tax paid by company car drivers if they select a fuel-efficient vehicle. At the moment company, car users have to pay an extra tax of 22% of the catalogue value of their car. But that will be slashed to around 12% for the users of ‘green’ cars such as the Honda Civic or Toyota Prius, the Telegraaf said.
The Dutch car lobby Bovag and RAI told ANP the minister’s plans were ‘stupid’ and would hardly affect emissions of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2). They added that if people were prepared to pay €75,000 for a car in the first place, it was unlikely that they would be put off because of an extra layer of tax.
The left-wing green party GroenLinks, which has campaigned against SUVs for years, said the cabinet’s plans did not go far enough because they only affected some 10% of the car market. The government plans to introduce the measures, which still need parliamentary approval, in 2008.
SUVs are known as PC Hooft tractors in the Netherlands because of their popularity among people who shop on the high class PC Hooftstraat in Amsterdam.

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