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Germany's Ramsauer Favors Truck Toll Expansion

by Ulrika Lomas, Tax-News.com, Brussels

12 September 2013


German Transport Minister Peter Ramsauer has underlined his support for plans to extend the scope of the country's truck toll (Lkw-Maut) to include major federal roads in Germany, as advocated by the Green Party's Chancellor candidate Jürgen Trittin.

Germany currently imposes a distance-based toll on all trucks in excess of 12 tons gross vehicle weight. The toll amount is based on the trucks emission category, on the number of axles, and on the length of the toll route. Initially applied to the use of the German motorway network, the truck toll was subsequently extended in August 2012 to include over 1,000 kilometers of four-lane federal highways, connected to the motorway network. These highways are predominantly in Bavaria, Lower Saxony, Hessen, and Baden-Württemberg.

Trittin recently called for the truck toll to be extended and levied on alternative routes, to ensure that heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) contribute to transport infrastructure costs in Germany. Citing the fact that a quarter of all bridges in Germany are in need of repair, Trittin insisted that those vehicles that have damaged them, mainly HGVs, must be required to pay for the repair work.

Furthermore, the Green Party has advocated in its election manifesto that the truck toll should be applied to smaller lorries, namely HGVs with a gross vehicle weight of less than 12 tons, as well as to long-distance buses.

In agreement with the idea, German Transport Minister Ramsauer pointed out that as the Government has already extended the truck toll to include over 1,100 kilometers of four-lane federal highways, the inclusion of additional road sections could be implemented progressively, as soon as the technical conditions have been created.

In 2012, Germany's Lkw-Maut served to generate additional revenues for the state totaling around EUR4.4bn (USD5.9bn), of which Toll Collect, the toll operator in Germany, received EUR600m.

TAGS: tax | Germany

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