November 12, 2014
About two thirds of the EU member states are using toll systems for financing the construction and maintenance of highways. National governments monitor the rates being charged; and this functions quite satisfactorily.
There is no reason for the EU to intervene, except insisting on strict non-discrimination between road users from different member states. This seems never to have been an issue, until two weeks ago Germany also announced its intention to introduce highway tolls from which German citizens would, however, be exempted for the equivalent of the vehicle taxes. Such a construction would be a discrimination and therefore an infringement of basic EU rules.
Toll systems are an expensive way of charging users for road construction and maintenance. Gasoline and diesel excise taxation is a far more effective instrument for charging cars simultaneously for using the roads and polluting the environment.
The EU applies minimum tax rates for gasoline and diesel. But the […]