Dutch Treat: Pay Per Km Tax Approved In The Netherlands

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
Worried about increasingly efficient cars and dwindling tax revenue at the pump, Dutch lawmakers approved the first “pay-as-you-drive” tax system in Europe. Of course, the dwindling revenue is not the official reason given. The official intent is “to protect the climate and to reduce traffic jams,” reports the Deutsche Welle. Now who can be against noble causes such as those?Nobody even mentions gasoline taxes, the legalized form of highway robbery in Europe. The pay-as-you-drive system will replace the old system that taxes ownership. That will go. The fuel tax remains. Dutch citizens are taxed twice. At the pump and by the kilometer.Beginning in 2012, Dutch motorists will pay approximately 3 Euro-Cent per driven kilometer, until 2018, the amount will rise to 6.7 Cent. The actual costs vary according to size and engine of the car. A Renault Twingo will cost you 1.4 Cent per km, an Audi A8 will get the Dutch government 16.6 Cent per klick.And how will the government know?You guessed it: Each car will be fitted with a GPS system. The initial cost for the gizmo will be born by the government, later, the box will most likely be mandated. Whether the Dutchman or Dutchwoman drives from Utrecht to Amsterdam, or on vacation from Pisa to Paris, the black box will report the driven distance, and the money is deducted from their bank accounts. Drive that A8 from Amsterdam to Naples, Italy, on vacation, and when you are back, $1000 will be no longer in your bank account.And what about big brother? Can the Dutch police check where everybody has driven? Can speeding tickets be charged automatically to the bank account, as the GPS system calculates the speed at all times? Sure they can, but of course they won’t. Supposedly. The Dutch government swears on a stack of bibles that “only the distance driven” will be recorded. “We are not interested in where you haven been,” say a government spokesman. Comment of the Handelsblatt: “The Dutch may believe that or not.”The Netherlands is for Europe what California is for the US: A liberal state that sets the example, be it legalization of dope or strict anti-immigration laws. The rest of Europe is looking with high interest to the Netherlands. Any additional income, and any excuse to have real-time records of the whereabouts of their citizenry will be welcome. Strictly in the interest of climate protection, of course.
Bertel Schmitt
Bertel Schmitt

Bertel Schmitt comes back to journalism after taking a 35 year break in advertising and marketing. He ran and owned advertising agencies in Duesseldorf, Germany, and New York City. Volkswagen A.G. was Bertel's most important corporate account. Schmitt's advertising and marketing career touched many corners of the industry with a special focus on automotive products and services. Since 2004, he lives in Japan and China with his wife <a href="http://www.tomokoandbertel.com"> Tomoko </a>. Bertel Schmitt is a founding board member of the <a href="http://www.offshoresuperseries.com"> Offshore Super Series </a>, an American offshore powerboat racing organization. He is co-owner of the racing team Typhoon.

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  • Micheal Blue Micheal Blue on Nov 16, 2009

    This is so Orwellian it's incredible.

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    • Micheal Blue Micheal Blue on Nov 16, 2009
      @psarhjinian psarhjinian, there is some truth in what you say. However, the government has absolutely no business tracking peaceful people, period. If the government had good intentions, and people were indeed open to the government, they would simply ask people to report their milage, and most people would do it honestly. The history shows that the governments have not been mature and positive enough to have true positive benefit in mind for the people, all over the world. Also, when a governement comes up with slapping more and more taxes on people, regardless how cleverly they justify them, it shows corruption and disregard for the lives of the people. Full stop.
  • Sinistermisterman Sinistermisterman on Nov 17, 2009

    For 'Liberal Government' read 'socialist/fascist egalitarian government'. This is utterly terrifying - how the hell could the Dutch allow this to happen? God help the clog wearers. This is the first step before the rest of Europe follows suit, where every individual is tracked in the name of 'tax collection' and 'national security'. If you value your personal freedom and liberty stay the hell away from Europe. It's why I left.

  • Grg I am not sure that this would hold up in snow country. It used to be that people in snow country would not be caught dead in a white car. Now that white cars have become popular in the north, I can't tell you how many times I have seen white cars driving in the snow without lights. Almost all cars are less visible in a snow storm, or for that matter, rain storm, without lights. White ones become nearly invisible.
  • Douglas I have a 2018 BMW 740e PHEV, and love it. It has a modest electric only range compared to newer PHEV's (about 18 miles), but that gets me to the office and back each day. It has a small gas tank to make room for the battery, so only holds about 11 gallons. I easily go 600 or more miles per tank. I love it, and being able to take long road trips without having to plug in (it just operates like a regular Hybrid if you never plug it in). It charges in 75 minutes in my garage from a Level 2 charger I bought on Amazon for $350. Had an electrician add a dryer outlet beside the breaker box. It's the best of both worlds and I would definitely want a PHEV for my next car. 104,000 miles and ZERO problems with the powertrain components (so far).
  • Panther Platform I had a 98 Lincoln Mark VIII so I have a soft spot for this. The Mark VIII styling was not appreciated by all.
  • Grant P Farrell Oh no the dealership kept the car for hours on two occasions before giving me a loaner for two months while they supposedly replaced the ECU. I hate cords so I've only connected it wirelessly. Next I'm gonna try using the usb-c in the center console and leaving the phone plugged in in there, not as convenient but it might lower my blood pressure.
  • Jeff Tiny electrical parts are ruining today's cars! What can they ...