Brussels’ nineteen municipalities want to introduce a tax on electric charging points on public roads, like fuel stations are currently taxed in most of them. This was discussed at the Conference of Brussels Mayors on Wednesday. The logic behind introducing the tax is that the municipalities would otherwise lose revenue from parking fees.
An agreement in principle has been reached on introducing the tax, but no final decision has been taken yet. It would be a flat tax, which should not exceed 125 euros per year per charging point.
11.000 chargers planned
By early 2024, there will be 1,250 new electric charging stations, with two charging points each, on public roads in the 19 Brussels municipalities, or one within 150 meters of each household. By 2035, there will be as many as 11,000 if the rollout goes as planned.
But as a result, the 19 Brussels municipalities will also lose revenue from parking spaces, in this case 22 000 parking spaces. Indeed, currently, drivers of EVs do not pay parking fees when parking and charging their vehicles.
The rotation charge, a way for operators to force drivers to leave the spot when they have finished charging, is not a requirement for now, as the Brussels Region will review the regulations. However, the tariff would, in principle, be introduced in 2024.
18.9 million from parking fees
Recent figures on joint parking revenues of the Brussels municipalities are not immediately available, but in 2015, net parking revenues added up to some 18,9 million euros. The leader was Brussels City, with more than 8,5 million euros.
Last year, parking fees were still increased. In principle, the municipalities must also pass 15% of their parking revenue to the regional parking agency. As part of the Good Move mobility plan, the Brussels Capital Region also wants to eliminate 65,000 parking spaces along public roads by 2035, a quarter less than today.
€100 per charging point
To compensate for parking revenue loss and avoid each municipality introducing a different rate, the 19 mayors now want to introduce a uniform rate for all municipalities. According to Olivier Maingain (DéFi), Mayor of Sint-Lambrechts-Woluwe/Woluwe-Saint-Lambert and current chairman of the Conference, the demand for a uniform rate came at the request of the Brussels Region and Sibelga.
The latter is the operator for the distribution of natural gas and electricity in the Brussels-Capital Region. They want to avoid discrepancies between the various Brussels municipalities – Ixelles, for example, already taxes charging point operators at 280,68 euros per charging point.
For now, all the noses are looking in the same direction, and a tax of 100 euros per charging point, or 200 per terminal, is being considered, according to La Capital newspaper.
Whether operators on private sites will also be taxed is unclear, though it is not on the table for now. Businesses and liberal professions get an exemption on the tax on parking spaces from the City of Brussels, around 75 euros per parking space per year, provided they equip the parking spaces with a charging point for electric vehicles. A decision on the fee is expected in 15 days at the next conference of mayors.