Wallonia runs Flanders’ kilometre tax into the ground
While Flanders is still studying the possibilities, the idea of a ‘smart road pricing’ applied only to the north of the country doesn’t go down well with Wallonia. Regional Budget and Finance Minister, Jean-Luc Crucke (MR), runs this kilometre tax into the ground and says it won’t be applicable without a consultation agreement between north and south. Mobility Minister, Carlo Di Antonio, favours a vignette system.
“Unusual, particular, not to say original”, declared Walloon Finance Minister, Jean-Luc Crucke (MR), after Flanders proposal of a smart kilometre tax. “It would be in place at the earliest in 2024 or 2025, not for the next legislature but for the one after that.”
North-south fiscal difference
Even though the proposal is only at the study state and conclusions shouldn’t come before April, the scenario brings some difficulties. First and foremost, the kilometre tax wouldn’t only apply to citizens of Flanders but to Walloon citizens and foreigners as well.
Citizens of the south would therefore have to equip their cars with a special OBU box that keeps tracks of their travels even if only to go to Flanders once a year. In addition, they will have to continue to pay their circulation tax in Wallonia.
“This kilometre tax will probably apply to company cars and may I remember that to touch the fleet sector there needs to be a consultation agreement and therefore an agreement with Wallonia”, explains Jean-Luc Crucke,
“The real question would be ‘how to make sure that the one who has no other choices but to drive isn’t penalized?’ It’s an economic, environmental and society problem.”
European tax system
Wallonia plans on reforming its car taxation system in a greener way, but that won’t be completed during this legislature. Minister Crucke thinks that two tax systems in such a small country is already a strange idea but he goes further and suggests a European tax system instead.
“After all, pollution doesn’t stop at the border. Those who want to go ahead without taking their neighbours into account aren’t very smart”, adds the Walloon Finance Minister.
For Walloon Mobility Minister, Carlo Di Antonio (cdH), the solution to a car tax reform in Belgium should go through the introduction of a vignette system, as is the case in Switzerland. It’s would be priced at around 40 to 50 euro.
“The system works well and is more equal. It would be financially neutral for the Walloon motorist because of the deletion of the circulation tax and beneficial to Walloon funds”, declares Carlo Di Antonio who adds that he always favoured a unique tax system for the whole of Belgium.