China To Tax Pollution

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
china to tax pollution

Europe has largely shifted towards a CO2-based vehicle taxation regimen. Next in line to tax what comes out of your car may be, wonders of wonders, China.

“Drivers in China may be taxed on the level of emissions produced from their vehicles in the future,” writes China Daily, citing the comments of an official of the Beijing Development and Reform Commission (BDRC).

“The central government is researching the subject of environmental tax reform of vehicles, including a measure to tax vehicles owners according to vehicle emissions,” said Zhang Yanyou, deputy head of BDRC.

If and when the carbon tax becomes official, people with clean cars will pay less, people with ozone-oinkers will pay through the nose. So far, so good. Would there not be a comment from an “unnamed official” at China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection.

“The more distance your car covers, the more you will pay.”

Uh-oh. Mileage based taxation coming to China? Dutch GPS boxes in every car? Even a simple odometer-reading at the end of the year would overtax the bureaucracy here.

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  • Bertel Schmitt Bertel Schmitt on Jan 29, 2010

    Flashpoint: The government is trying to make the cost as high as possible to drive them. What do you do when you go there? Hang out in KTVs? Did you miss the news that China expanded and extended its Cash for Clunkers program, and is accelerating its hugely successful "cars to the countryside" program? Most of the big car factories are owned by the government. They want to sell more cars, not less.

  • Ernie Ernie on Jan 29, 2010

    Whereas the coal burning was hard to get used to . . . not sure where you're "getting sick". Honestly, the cigarette smoke EVERYWHERE was more concerning than cars, but that was 3 years ago . . . Sichuan Province and Hong Kong.

  • 50merc 50merc on Jan 29, 2010

    It is hilarious to hear a cigarette smoker complain about air pollution. Isn't smoking popular in China? BTW, it isn't CO2 that makes the air murky.

    • Ernie Ernie on Jan 29, 2010

      Ever see a cigarette smoker ask someone to put out a cigar because it was bothering them?

  • Chuck Goolsbee Chuck Goolsbee on Jan 29, 2010

    I find it ironic that a Communist People's Republic is using taxation as a tool for behavioral change. Mao's in-grave rotational rate must be approaching redline.