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Vehicle taxes to be replaced with a kilometre levy

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

THE HAGUE – The concept of paying for road usage is one step closer to being realized in the Netherlands now that the cabinet has agreed to a three-year trial period, starting in 2012. The first group to start paying an average 3-cent per kilometre levy is the trucking industry, which favours the concept in the hope that it will have a positive effect on traffic patterns once all drivers get charged for road usage. The 3-cent charge will increase to 6.7 cents in 2018. Rush hour usage will be at a premium. An electronic box in each vehicle will automatically submit pertinent information by cell phone to the country’s taxation branch. Officials say that current vehicle taxes, which will be eventually phased out, will be mostly offset by the new charges and that the total vehicle costs of 6.6 billion euros annually will remain the same. Only sixteen percent of motorists are expected to pay more under the proposed system, nearly sixty percent would pay slightly less, while the rest will pay the same. Another built-in variable in the per kilometre levy will be the type of vehicle driven. Non-environmentally friendly cars will cost the user more.