The taboo has fallen. Free German motorways is promised for a certain purpose. The region of Bavaria to the South of the Federal Republic will establish, as of 2008, a motorway sticker for the cars of an amount of EUR 100 per year. "A precise concept will be presented this autumn," promised in the columns of the weekly "Focus" the Bavarian Minister of the Interior GŁnther Beckstein conservative.
This sticker should generate additional tax revenue EUR 4.9 billion each year. These resources will be used to fund lower taxes on fuels. The price of a litre of diesel oil should fall 10 cents and that of the sans-plomb of 15 cents. This "generosity" is not innocent. The Bavarian Government is indeed control of tourism service stations. Each year, hundreds of thousands of motorists will be Austria and Switzerland where gasoline costs 15 cents less. This phenomenon would be a shortfall of EUR 4.6 billion for the Bavarian tax funds. By reducing its taxes on fuel, Munich hopes to recover at least EUR 2 billion now spent at gas stations of its neighbors. Without these additional revenues, the Government program would generate an annual deficit of more than 1 billion euros. The announced decline in the price of gasoline and diesel fuel which should lead to a fall in tax revenue of EUR 6 billion per year will in fact not fully offset by profits from the introduction of the thumbnail.
Lifting of shields
The decision of the Bavarian Conservatives may open Pandora's box. For many years, regional Governments and the Federal State are seeking to develop a model that would ease the financing of maintenance of the 12,000 kilometres of motorways in the country. Last October, the German regional States a short majority failed to agree on a joint project of motorway vignette for automobiles. The Federal Minister of transport, Wolfgang Tiefensee, is also opposed to the idea that a new tax to finance a decrease in the price of fuel. Such a reform would be extremely unpopular in a country where the car is Queen. The decision of the Bavarian Government to introduce a vignette also failed to cause a lift of shields of many associations.
The Federation of German automobile-club (Adac) found the concept of creating a tax to reduce another illusory. Other groups are concerned to see drivers refuse to take the famous "Autobahn" at the risk of even clog highways. To compensate for the additional cost of the sticker by the decline in the price of fuel, a motorist must indeed drive less than 10,000 miles per year on Bavarian motorways. "Sunday drivers" may therefore to distract from the express lanes. This phenomenon had already appeared after the creation of a motorway toll for heavy goods vehicles.
Trucks already taxed
Since January 1, 2005, 12-ton trucks or more rolling Highway must pay a tax, the amount is fixed on the basis of the route travelled on relevant sections of the number of axles of the vehicle, as well as its class on polluting emissions. This tax, which reported 1.49 billion euros in the first half ( 6), should be soon increased from 12.4 to 13.5 euro cents per kilometre on average. If the Federal Government does not hesitate to make pay the road, he dares not yet crossed the Rubicon with motorists. But Munich comes to show him the way...