Germany mulling new road tax
(CS/CBu) Germany is considering different options of introducing a new road tax for motorways, which would also affect foreign travellers, much like in Switzerland or Austria.
According to reports, one option would include a 100-euro flat fee both for locals and travellers for a one-year vignette allowing motorway use. Cars caught driving on the motorway without such a badge would be fined.
However, the deal is far from done. The Christian Social Union in Bavaria had suggested before the elections that only foreign motorists should be made to pay, but this is not conform with EU regulation.
The second-largest party in Germany, the SPD, with which chancellor Angela Merkel's CDU is currently trying to strike a coalition agreement, meanwhile is against new road taxes.
A compromise solution is being debated, which would see all drivers pay for a vignette, but leaving German residents with the option to balance the sum with their regular vehicle tax.
Additionally, environmental aspects are under consideration, such as concessions for drivers of low-emission cars.
Austria could serve as a model for Germany, with its system of staggered vignettes, available for 10 days, two months or one year.
Other countries in Europe levying motorway taxes are France, Italy and Hungary, as well as Switzerland.
Belgium, too, green-lighted plans in 2012 to introduce a vignette in 2016.
This could see Luxembourg soon surrounded by countries levying a tax on motorway use.