Monday, July 7, 2014

Germany: Government Intends to Tax Roadway Usage for Foreign Motorists

According to the BBC, Germany has announced plans to tax the millions of foreign motorists who use its roadways, including the famous autobahn highway, from 2016 onwards.

Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt said the levy should raise 2.5 billion euros or £1.98 billion over four years.

Vehicles will be issued with badges, costing between 10 euros for 10 days and about 100 euros for a year-long permit.

Critics of the planned toll say it violates EU anti-discrimination laws.

While vehicles registered in Germany will also have to pay the charge, their owners will be compensated by an equivalent reduction in a separate car tax.

COMMENT: Alexander Dobrint's Christian Social Union party campaigned on a promise to tax foreign road users
 
Austria and the Netherlands have complained about the planned tax, AFP reported.

Dobrint has insisted that the law--due to be passed this year--does not violate EU rules against discrimination.

The party's base is in the southern region of Bavaria, where residents have long complained of having to pay to roadway usage in neighboring Austria and Switzerland, while motorists from those countries pay nothing to drive in Germany. 

Austria and the Netherlands have complained about the planned tax, the AFP reports.