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Germany's Dobrindt Mulls "Differentiated" Car Toll

by Ulrika Lomas,, Brussels

08 January 2014

German Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt is reportedly considering the idea of introducing a motorway car toll (Pkw-Maut) in Germany in the form of a vignette, differentiated according to vehicle emission levels.

According to Der Spiegel, under the proposals an "eco bonus" rebate would be accorded to motorists with low capacity, low emission cars. This would be akin to the system currently applied when calculating the country's motor vehicle tax (Kfz-Steuer), which already contains an environmental component. Germany's Kfz-Steuer is differentiated on the basis of exhaust gas characteristics.

Although such a system would appear highly complex, combining a toll rebate and lower motor vehicle tax would ensure that the fiscal burden on German motorists does not increase as a result of the motorway charge, as clearly stipulated in the black-red Grand Coalition agreement.

It is unclear as yet, however, as to how these envisaged rebates would be granted to foreign motorists.

Further, Transport Minister Dobrindt is said to be examining plans for a weekly, monthly, and annual vignette, thereby ensuring that motorists are not compelled to purchase a disc for the whole year for occassional use of Germany's motorway network.

Transport Minister Dobrindt intends to submit a bill during the course of this year, providing for the car toll. Given the complexities surrounding the practical implementation of the motorway charge, it is not anticipated that the toll will enter into force in Germany before 2016.

TAGS: individuals | environment | tax | mining | vehicle tax | Germany | tax breaks

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