The decision by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) to declare Germany’s proposed highway toll discriminatory confirms the lack of support for this type of road tax, according to Flemish Mobility Minister, Ben Weyts.
Two months ago, in the midst of the election period, Weyts had abandoned his planned “intelligent” kilometre tax for private vehicles, after it failed to garner enough support from the population and political parties.
Like its German counterpart, the Flemish proposal envisaged compensation for vehicles registered in the country. Weyts proposed to eliminate the annual road tax and vehicle registration tax so as to make the system “budget neutral” for Flemish drivers.
However, the CJEU has now declared the compensation proposed for the German tolls discriminatory since drivers of foreign-registered vehicles would have to pay the toll without compensation.
For Ben Weyts, the ruling would appear to vindicate his decision to put the proposed Flemish kilometre tax on hold. Noting the CJEU’s fears that the German plan could hamper the free movement of goods and services from other EU member States, he noted that the lack of support for such taxes also comes from the European courts.
The rejection of a form of national compensation “means that a sticker or a kilometre tax will always constitute, according to the rules of the Court of Justice, a tax increase for people travelling by car,” Weyts said. “And that will happen without me and without my party,” the Nieuw-Vlaamse Alliantie (N-VA).