CDA to fight local kilometer tax plan

Plans by a number of local authorities to bring in their own peak period charges for motorists on top of the kilometer tax will be made impossible, Christian Democrat MP Ger Koopmans says in Monday’s Volkskrant.

Although an earlier agreed experiment with a rush-hour toll system on Amsterdam’s ring road will still go ahead, ‘we absolutely do not want any further rush hour taxes,’ Koopmans was quoted as saying.
And he pledged to amend the draft legislation when it is put before parliament to make rush-hour taxes impossible.
The cabinet is planning to introduce a kilometer tax for all motorists from 2012 in order to cut traffic jams and pollution. All vehicles will be fitted with a GPS system and their movements tracked by satellite. The initial charge will be three cents a kilometer for the least-polluting cars.
Employer costs
In the Telegraaf, accountants warn that the new tax will be passed on to employers for all work-related journeys. After all, workers in lease cars will not benefit from the scrapping of road and new car sales tax which will offset the kilometer charge, they say.
And changes to work-related expenses legislation which come into effect in 2011 mean employers will effectively pay nearly twice as much as staff in kilometer taxes, Marcel Kawka of accountants group BDO told the paper.
In its analysis of the new charge, Trouw asks how the public transport system will cope with the expected 6% increase in travellers, as commuters opt to leave their cars at home. ‘Public transport is already full at rush hour,’ the paper points out.


In the Financieele Dagblad, Siemens Nederland boss Martin van Pernis says he too has doubts about the likely success of the system. There is only ‘fragile support’ for the tax, he said. ‘I would prefer a system in which people take part voluntarily. Otherwise too many people will try to sabotage the kilometer charge because they see it as a tax increase,’ he told the paper.
Siemens is one of a number of companies competing to supply the GPS monitors.
Meanwhile, a poll by Maurice de Hond says two thirds of people expect most drivers will end up paying more, despite government assurances that 60% will be better off. And while 53% support the introduction of the tax, only a quarter think it will actually cut traffic jams.

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