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Rajoy to increase diesel tax on autonomic financing

Cristóbal Montoro seeks to transfer the bulk of environmental taxation to the hands of the communities

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Rajoy to increase diesel tax on autonomic financing

The European Commission has again pointed to Spain on low taxation of environmental taxes and, in particular, on diesel. "Environmental taxes are still below EU average, despite increases in recent years," Brussels said in a report on Spanish economy published last Wednesday.

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The Community authorities reproach Spain that collection of so-called green taxes represents only 1.9% of GDP, according to data from 2016, compared to average of 2.4% of EU. Brussels puts emphasis on energy taxes, which cover tax treatment of fuels. and specifically on " low level of excise duty on unleaded petrol and diesel." The Commission particularly highlights " case of Diesel, in which Spain applies minimum excise duty, despite fact that diesel has a higher carbon and energy content than unleaded petrol". The Brussels bawling does not end re: "Transport taxes, such as vehicle taxes, only produce half of income in Spain than EU average (0.2% compared to 0.5% of GDP)."

Record SancionadorLas figures of green taxation

less than Europe. Environmental taxes amounted to 20.64 billion euros in 2016. This amount represents 1.85% of GDP, less than EU average, 2.44%. Most of se were about energy.

hydro Carbons. The public coffers entered 10,133,000,000 euros for tax on hydrocarbons, according to figures collected by tax agency until November. This tribute, shared between central State and Autonomous Communities, gravels unleaded petrol, diesel and oil for agricultural and industrial use.

circulation. The tax on mechanical traction vehicles, in hands of city councils, raised about 2.717 billion euros in 2016, 3.1% more than previous year.

enrollment. The enrolment tax, for its part, contributed some 390 million euros to coffers of communities, which represents a 19% increase over preceding year. Two out of three registered vehicles are exempt from this tax.

This is not first time that Brussels has pointed to Spain. He's been doing it periodically since, at least, 2012. Or international institutions such as OECD or IMF have also claimed improvements in this area. The international trend is to increase taxes on harmful activities, which affect environment or pollute — so-called "negative externalities," according to academy. And most countries are raising taxes on diesel. In parallel, many European capitals are approving restrictions on this type of engine, which expel much more nitrogen dioxide (NO2) than gasoline.

The Commission has opened a dossier against Spain for defaulting on NO2 limits in Madrid and Barcelona since 2010 and must now decide wher to take government to EU Court of Justice. Brussels is currently evaluating Spain's plans to combat pollution and among recommendations it has made to default countries is to use taxation. The Government is aware that taxation is a useful tool against pollution and this is recognized by Ministry of Environment in current National air Quality Plan, which includes possibility of a green tax reform.

In December 2016, government already pledged to Brussels to amend green taxation to raise 500 million euros more. But months later ruled out measure that was reserved in case it had to increase levy if public deficit were diverted. So he put measure back in drawer.

Now PP executive aims to address a reform of green taxation in area of regional finance. Government sources recognize that y will include in this review taxes on waste and pollution related. In this sense, y admit that y work to reinforce role of communities with tax on hydrocarbons. This tax is partially ceded to autonomies, which can establish a supplementary lien on it, albeit limited by a fork. The IRS plan is to increase diesel levies.

Penalize Diesel

The environmentalists in action presented last week a proposal to penalize diesel vehicles tax. "Taxes have great potential when it comes to discouraging purchase of most polluting vehicles," report explained. The document advocates to amend hydrocarbon tax so that within four years it will equip " imposition of unleaded petrol and diesel oil". Environmentalists in action also asked for changes in enrollment tax to reduce number of vehicles that are exempt from paying despite being polluting.

In green tax reform that Government prepares, it also aims to touch traffic tax, in hands of city councils, to be able to tax more polluting vehicles. "As proposed in report of Committee of Experts for reform of Spanish tax system (2014), a way forward could be integration of tax of enrolment with tax on vehicles of mechanical traction (circulation), of scope Municipal, leaving management of new tribute in hands of city councils, "say experts who made proposal for reform of regional finance commissioned by Treasury. "The fixation of two types, one autonomous and anor municipal, would allow sharing of figure between Autonomous Communities and City Council", y add.

Harmonizing regional green taxes

Communities have legislated profusely to create new environmental taxes with which y raise little. The state has only three or four green taxes with which it does not enter a significant amount eir. The only notable is tax on hydrocarbons, with a harvest of 10,133,000,000 euros until November. The European Commission came to calculate in a study that Spain could increase its green tax revenues up to 1.13% of GDP — equivalent of about 13.5 billion euros — this year if in 2015 it had included in tax reform se taxes on activities Pollutants.

The reality is that communities have created a pleiad of environmental taxes. "The collection that is obtained from taxes of an environmental nature is so exigua that most likely if realizásemos a cost-benefit analysis would be negative, because very likely, collection obtained does not cover management costs of same", The General Council of economists explains in a report on autonomic taxation published a couple of weeks ago. "Water-related taxes are 78.8% of tax collection, so water is main source of taxation for this type of tax," adds report that decata that se own taxes barely contribute 2.2% of income of Communities.

The Government intends to harmonize this tangle of regional green taxes in order to avoid current dispersal. To do this, as well as for succession and donations, plans to establish minimum and maximum rates on se taxable facts.


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