Friday 21 February 2020

Water boards up taxes to tackle changing weather patterns

The river Maas. Photo: Klankbeeld via Wikimedia Commons

Water boards have increased taxes significantly in order to head off the effects of changing weather patterns, national statistics agency CBS has said.

The 4.6% hike is the steepest since 2009 and bring in a total of €3bn this year for the water boards. Every Dutch household pays waterschapsbelasting which covers waste water treatment, the upkeep of dykes and dunes, and monitoring surface water quality. Five of the 21 water boards are also responsible for the upkeep of roads and bicycle paths.

Households and farms and businesses in Limburg and Friesland will be hardest hit by the rise in tax. The Limburg water board is investing 16% more in flood prevention schemes around the river Meuse but also in measures to provide water in times of drought.

The Wetterskip Fryslân needs 13% more revenue to prepare the province’s water systems for extremely wet winters and very dry summers, the CBS said. New legislation also drives up costs for the water boards.

The CBS has calculated that a family in Limburg with a home worth €248,000 will be paying €286 this year, up 12% compared to 2019. A farmer with a business worth €400,000 can expect to pay €2,526 which represents a 14% rise.

This is still less than other families and farmers are paying, the CBS said. Delfland leads the table with comparable families and businesses paying €462 and €7,631 respectively. The national average for households is around €350.

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