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Belgium's Kilometer Tax Opposed

Thursday, March 11, 2010

The Humanist group cdH of the Walloon parliament in Belgium has rejected the idea of a road tax levied per kilometre travelled, advocating instead the introduction of an inclusive road tax disc, which could then be modified to take certain environmental criteria into account.

According to the leader of the group, Maxime Prévot, a road tax disc could, for example, be modified to take into consideration the maximum weight of vehicles. Car drivers would then contribute to road maintenance.

CdH maintains that the introduction of a tax levied per kilometre travelled would simply be unfair for individuals either living in rural areas or with little access to public transport. It also raises the question of how the system will not only be implemented and regulated, but how it will affect individual privacy, the group notes.

The group’s comments come in the wake of a recent proposal put forward by Walloon’s Budget and Finance Minister André Antoine, who has suggested the idea of introducing a progressive motorway levy in Belgium.

Under the proposal, the motorway levy would initially take the form of a road tax disc. This levy would then develop into a tax levied per kilometre travelled.

The introduction of a road toll is due to be debated by the Walloon and Flemish governments as well as the government in Brussels.