Brussels has indeed presented a draft for a city toll during this legislature, Minister-President Rudi Vervoort’s office said, contradicting earlier reports by francophone Socialist Party leader Paul Magnette.
Vervoort’s office added that the city toll was included in the government agreement.
PS President Paul Magnette had said in an interview on Saturday morning with L’Echo that the toll project was not to be expected before the end of the current legislature.
“I’ve understood from my contacts with friends in Brussels that it’s for the next legislature, so we have some time,” Magnette had said.
Contacted by Belga, Vervoort’s office was somewhat more nuanced. “In December last, the Brussels Government approved a model to be proposed for consultation,” it said. “Following the Consultative Committee, the Brussels-Capital Region was asked to submit a working model for launching the consultations.”
“A first evaluation will be done in late March; we’ll see what will be the result,” the office added.
The model presented in December, codenamed “Smartmove,” is based primarily on a tax on car use rather than car ownership. It should comprise a base amount along with a variable component based on the number of kilometres driven, the time of day, and the power of the vehicle.
For capital residents, the licencing and circulation taxes should be scrapped, except for luxury vehicles from 15 fiscal horsepower up.
The proposal has received a cold welcome thus far in Wallonia and Flanders.