Higher car taxes in the canton of berne?

  • heavier vehicles with higher pollutant emissions are to be taxed more heavily. – thomas B.

The electorate in the canton of Bern will decide on the 13. february on a more ecological design of motor vehicle taxes. At the same time, car taxes are to be increased by around 40 million euros. francs to be raised and money used to cut taxes for individuals.

The Bernese parliament approved the amendment to the law by 101 votes to 43 with one abstention. The SVP and its allies, the Bund der steuerzahler (taxpayers’ association), have lodged a referendum against this proposal.

The People’s Party is fighting the proposal as a "squeeze", because in 2012 the people had approved a reduction in car taxes by one third. the government is trying to undermine this popular decision through the back door.

Graduated progressive taxation

Proponents emphasize more ecological design of car taxes. Today vehicles are only taxed by weight. The tax rate decreases gradually, the higher the weight of the vehicle is. In this way, the canton favors cars that are more harmful to the climate, according to the supporters of the bill.

A combination of weight and C02 emissions is planned as a new assessment basis. for motorcycles it is a combination of weight and engine power.

In the case of CO2-A graduated progressive taxation is provided for depending on the emissions of a vehicle. Those who use light or low-emission vehicles will be taxed at a lower rate. Heavier vehicles with higher pollutant emissions, on the other hand, are given a higher rating. For delivery vehicles, it is planned to calculate the tax according to lower rates. Trucks and agricultural vehicles will continue to be taxed according to the current principles.

In the countryside

Opponents of the proposal argue that people in rural areas are often dependent on off-road four-wheel drive vehicles. Just these, as well as occasional vehicles, would be more heavily burdened.

Proponents, on the other hand, hope the bill will provide an incentive to buy climate-friendly vehicles. The new system would contribute to using less fossil fuels and emitting less CO2.

Political perennial

In recent years, the canton of Berne has repeatedly addressed the issue of the level of its car taxes. in 2011, the people surprisingly said yes to a popular proposal that required bern to cut car taxes by a third. The result was razor-thin and was disputed. However, a recount was no longer possible, as some municipalities had already disposed of the ballots.

This is how the vote was repeated in 2012. Once again, the result was a yes to significantly lower car taxes. The canton loses about 90 mio. Francs per year in tax revenue.

Reduce taxes for natural persons

As part of a revision of the tax law, the bernese grand council passed a motion for more ecological car taxes in 2019. So the canton receives about 40 mio. franc more in. However, the money is not to remain in the state coffers, but is to be passed on to individuals in the form of a tax cut.

with 14’807 valid signatures the referendum against the corresponding law change was successful, so that the people of bernern are now voting on the car taxes for the third time in ten years.

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Christina Cherry
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