France replaces doomed ecotax with
French leaders have definitively abandoned the ‘ecotax’ on heavy goods vehicles and will instead impose a far less ambitious and contentious tax plan dubed a "truck tolls"
The French government unveiled a new plan to tax the lorries shuttling goods across the country on Tuesday, however it’s a greatly scaled back version of the so-called "ecotax" that prompted violent protests in Brittany last year.
The news came after the government leaked details of the new plan to the French press, which seized the moment to declare the death of the ecotax, which had provoked violent protests last year.
Here's the key points about the new "transit/truck toll":
How much wil it cost?: Lorries that use certain French roads (see map above) will have to pay €0.13 per kilometre, though the amount could be less for some trips. The charge is expected to bring in up to €560 million per year for road and public transportation projects. That is nearly a third less than authorities would have have been collected under the ecotax.
Which roads and vehicles will it apply to?: The tax only will apply to vehicles weighing 3.5 tonnes or more and solely when those vehicles drive on a stretch of the 4,000 kilometres of roads subject to the new toll. Roads in Brittany will not be included on the list of taxed highways. Circus, agricultural and milk collection vehicles will be exempt. In contrast the ecotax would have been applied to 15,000 kilometres of roads.
How is it calculated?: Whereas the ecotax would have been applied by automated portals (portiques) that photographed license plates, on-board GPS trackers will enforce the new lorry toll. The GPS device will automatically tally the number of kilometres lorries are to be taxed for. Authorities have not said what will become of the portals that were constructed for the ecotax, many of which have been destroyed by protesters.
When?: The government plans to roll out the tax starting January 1st 2015, though the system should be up and running for three months prior in order to smooth over any bugs. The government, however, hasn’t set a deadline yet for signing up to the new system.
Why?: Similar to the ecotax, this plan seeks to push heavy goods vehicles towards using greener methods to move their products around France. But it also is intended to force companies to pay for the roads they have used as they seek to avoid the costly tolls on some of France’s main motorways. The money collected will go to major transit projects, many of which have been delayed by the battle over the ecotax.
source: The Local