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Old November 7th, 2016, 03:06 PM   #9001
MichiH
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Quote:
Originally Posted by italystf View Post
Brussels-Berlin ‘close to agreement’ on Autobahn tax

Full article: https://www.neweurope.eu/article/bru...-autobahn-tax/
It was THE topic last week on German media. However, the only thing happened is that EU commission and German Ministry of Transport agreed to negotite instead of having a court hearing. There is no information about any detail what will be changed* but there are a lot of rumors...

*Well, they have not yet negotiated, so there is no result now. Mr. Dobrindt said that they wanna negotiate this November.

Why was it published last week? Why was it published exactly one day before the CSU party conference?

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Originally Posted by Wilhem275 View Post
Keyword: both locals and foreigners.
It's said that the only legal problem is that the toll is compensated one-to-one for Germans. That the toll will have exactly the same value like the current car tax is. Rumors say, that there might be a modification so that some Germans have to pay a little more** or some Germans have to pay a little bit less. It's also reported that toll costs might be higher than expected and the additional income could be ~0 €.

**CSU election pledge was that "no German has to pay more than before". On the other hand, CDU party head, Mrs. Merkel, said just before Bundestag election 2013 that "there will be no car toll with me"...

Mr. Dobrindt recently said that the car toll will not be introduced during the current legislative period. The upcoming Bundestag election will be in fall 2017...
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Old November 7th, 2016, 03:28 PM   #9002
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Whatever the EU commission and Mr. Dobrindt have agreed on - or whatever they are going to negotiate - it will still have to pass the coalition parties. So if the SPD thinks that the result is not in line with the coalition agreement, it will be nothing.

The lower saxonian MP has already pronounced that he is against the car toll.

Finally, several European countries have announced to go to the European Court of Justice.

So there are still a lot of obstacles on the way.
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Old November 7th, 2016, 09:33 PM   #9003
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It's an interesting topic for sure. Would the EU introduce some kind of bottom line quality for roads in order for them to require a toll? I can see where Germany is coming from, but the arguments that are served are in my opinion pretty bad. How many foreign drivers in relation to German drivers occupy the Autobahn on a daily basis? Wouldn't it be too much of a generalization to say that 'all' surrounding countries do the same?

I think they are looking for a cheap excuse to 'fix' the current state of most of the Autobahns, but I don't think money is the biggest problem here. Bureaucracy and lengthy construction periods will remain regardless of the extra money, that's the problem that needs fixing. If construction time would be half of what it is now, millions, perhaps billions could be saved on construction works and the tedious traffic jams would decline and benefit the economy in general.

I'm not proud of many things that go on in my country (NL), but the way our infrastructure budget is spent and the quality of roads is maintained is something I very much appreciate. On such a small 'playground' nimby's and environmental organizations are dealt with on a much more efficient scale compared to Germany, and despite the density of our network maintenance usually doesn't cause the amount of traffic you'd expect.

Playing the 'our network is larger and our country is bigger' card is a cliché and should inspire organizations to exploit the fact that there is more space and budget available nationwide to tackle the problems at hand. If it takes up to 10 years to repave a relatively simple stretch of 5 kilometers it's no wonder that the state of the Autobahn network keeps on getting worse. To then have foreigners 'pay' for it is not going to do much I'm afraid, and it's a disgrace if foreigners will have to pay for roads that are not worth driving on.
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Old November 7th, 2016, 11:53 PM   #9004
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How roads are tolled is a matter of national politics and EU has no word on that issue.

What's clearly forbidden by EU laws is to price any good or service differently according to the citizenship of the purchaser.

Period. Get along with that. You're free to choose whether to keep Autobahnnen free, introduce a vignette, install toll booth of free-flowing portals, and decide how much tolls will be. But you have to make it the same for everybody.
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In real life, electronic toll collection was first introduced in Bergen, Norway in 1986, and well into the 21th century many countries still struggle to implement it.
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Old November 8th, 2016, 12:21 AM   #9005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by italystf View Post
What's clearly forbidden by EU laws is to price any good or service differently according to the citizenship of the purchaser.
Provided that the citizenships are EU citizenship. The Germans can charge Swiss drivers as much as they want.
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Old November 8th, 2016, 04:01 AM   #9006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by italystf View Post
How roads are tolled is a matter of national politics and EU has no word on that issue.

What's clearly forbidden by EU laws is to price any good or service differently according to the citizenship of the purchaser.

Period. Get along with that. You're free to choose whether to keep Autobahnnen free, introduce a vignette, install toll booth of free-flowing portals, and decide how much tolls will be. But you have to make it the same for everybody.
While this is true, and essentially, the poltical selling aspect (make the Austrians pay!) falls into that... the proposed solution of vignette that costs X Euro and reducing the price of the plakette on the kennzeichen by X Euro really doesn't fall into this category.

The argument that, say, A or CZ drivers pay cheaper vehicle taxes compensated by vignette taxes is very valid... the original German proposal is no more unfair than those of its neighbours.

Of course my preference would be for EU to step in and prohibit any and all of these nasty and stupid vignettes , which do, in general, restrict inter-EU travel and trade (by charging short-term travel at exorbitant prices) thereby running against the EU's four freedoms and reason for existence.
I mean imagine if "vignettes" were sold in EU for mobile phones or some private industry that really shouldn't be in the EU's purview vs. a state government which is directly bound. Neelie Kroes would be all over that shit and beat someone immediately.
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Old November 8th, 2016, 09:50 AM   #9007
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The share of foreign cars on German motorways is 5%.
Not much to earn, afaic.
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Old November 8th, 2016, 11:16 AM   #9008
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Originally Posted by Kanadzie View Post
While this is true, and essentially, the poltical selling aspect (make the Austrians pay!) falls into that... the proposed solution of vignette that costs X Euro and reducing the price of the plakette on the kennzeichen by X Euro really doesn't fall into this category.

The argument that, say, A or CZ drivers pay cheaper vehicle taxes compensated by vignette taxes is very valid... the original German proposal is no more unfair than those of its neighbours.

With the current system in Austria, you don't get any reduction on the Vignette prices. Also, 10-days and 2-month vignettes are reasonably priced in comparison to the yearly prices, so there is also not a too strong bias towards making it cheaper for year-long users.

And regarding the vehicle tax, that it is not true - you pay generally more taxes in Austria, both when buying the car, and on yearly basis (see e.g., in German language: https://auto-motor.at/Auto/Neuwagen/...sterreich.html).
And you don't get any reduction on the vignette in return...
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Old November 8th, 2016, 08:11 PM   #9009
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December 2014

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Originally Posted by MichiH View Post
The toll is because of the Austrians. It's an election pledge by CSU party which only exists in Bavaria. Bavarians have to pay toll in Austria but Austrians do not have to pay toll in Bavaria. Austrians just drive 100km on Bavarian Autobahns on their way from Salzburg (Austria) to Kufstein (Austria).
Quote:
Originally Posted by MichiH View Post
Most of CSU politicians are from upper Bavaria (Oberbayern, around Munich) and toll was their (main? - I don't remember but I think it was the only CSU topic in media) election pledge. CSU/CDU is also called "Union" - which means that they are always in coalition - and of course, CSU got their pledge into the coalition agreement. But it's common to complain about toll in Austria, Switzerland,... Germans love to complain...
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Old November 9th, 2016, 04:34 PM   #9010
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Old November 9th, 2016, 05:56 PM   #9011
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There is really not much arguments around this. One of the basic principles of EU is that foreigners shouldn't be retaliated for "free-loading" in some sort of public service of good because foreigners from many countries use infrastructure and service in several other countries, so if everybody had that mentality, all people living, circulating, studying, working, building abroad would face some sort of double taxation.

All EU countries have some form of road, car and/or fuel tax. So it is totally fair that any road-pricing scheme does not discriminate against foreigners. EU-country governments to not give road or car tax refunds when you take your car out of the country for a given period, to the territory of other EU country. So, in this case, German authorities want to just grab foreigners' money and run with it. There is really no other way to put it.

Now if the same exact toll was imposed on all cars, without discrimination, it would be fair. As others said, the big EU countries with large tolled networks (France, Spain, Italy) do not charge more or less according to vehicle origin.

(I"m using the term 'foreigner' loosely, implying legal permanent residents in Germany).
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Old November 9th, 2016, 06:20 PM   #9012
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German authorities want to just grab foreigners' money and run with it.
No. Authorities don't wanna do anything. Just CSU party and some(!) of there voters from Bavaria (not me) want this crap.
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Old November 9th, 2016, 06:41 PM   #9013
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In the end, if the A8 is the origin of the problem, couldn't they just put a toll gate along it, and close this story?

Or, even better, just find a payment agreement with the Austrian government and kill the argument "They don't pay for it".

Or, even better, just get rid of these idiotic decrepit borders...
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Old November 9th, 2016, 11:56 PM   #9014
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Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
Now if the same exact toll was imposed on all cars, without discrimination, it would be fair. As others said, the big EU countries with large tolled networks (France, Spain, Italy) do not charge more or less according to vehicle origin.
Are there some countries in the world that impose tolls differently between locals and foreigners? I can't think of any.
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“The transponder’s personalised signal would be picked up when the car passed through an intersection, and then relayed to a central computer which would calculate the charge according to the intersection and the time of day and add it to the car’s bill” - Nobel Economics Prize winner William Vickrey, proposing a system of electronic tolling for the Washington metropolitan area, 1959
In real life, electronic toll collection was first introduced in Bergen, Norway in 1986, and well into the 21th century many countries still struggle to implement it.
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Old November 10th, 2016, 12:06 AM   #9015
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The only case I can think of is Venice, where public transport (waterbuses) is priced very differently for residents* and tourists.

*and not by default, you must pay a sum to activate the discount


I think it's quite obvious that it's a case in its own league
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Old November 10th, 2016, 12:07 AM   #9016
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In the end, if the A8 is the origin of the problem, couldn't they just put a toll gate along it, and close this story?

Or, even better, just find a payment agreement with the Austrian government and kill the argument "They don't pay for it".

Or, even better, just get rid of these idiotic decrepit borders...
So... Anschluss?
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“The transponder’s personalised signal would be picked up when the car passed through an intersection, and then relayed to a central computer which would calculate the charge according to the intersection and the time of day and add it to the car’s bill” - Nobel Economics Prize winner William Vickrey, proposing a system of electronic tolling for the Washington metropolitan area, 1959
In real life, electronic toll collection was first introduced in Bergen, Norway in 1986, and well into the 21th century many countries still struggle to implement it.
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Old November 10th, 2016, 07:12 AM   #9017
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Or, even better, just find a payment agreement with the Austrian government and kill the argument "They don't pay for it".
.
we would be pleased to get MORE money from germany in the other direction for the thousands of german students studying for free on austrian universities protected from the same EU law because their own system dont works and a lot of students come to us

back to the motorway, pay for a motorway which no real money is invested from germany (built from the nazis), the motorway driving is like WAR, only 2+2 with no shoulders and a rollercoaster and short exits, complete finished status, sounds like the biggest joke ever
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Old November 10th, 2016, 10:00 AM   #9018
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I agree with Wilhelm, toll the A8 only, use the money to widen it, and that's it.

BTW there are more examples for reduced prices for public transport for residents. The islands of Föhr and Amrum have reduced ferry fares for island residents. Sylt, on the other hand, has not.
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Old November 10th, 2016, 12:07 PM   #9019
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There are several transportation facilities that give toll discounts, and many public transportation systems that give timed passes (monthly, weekly etc).

I am not the biggest fan of volume discounts on tolls just because a truck that travels everyday for 100 days use the same space and produce the same wear than 100 equal trucks that travel there once, one per day. I can still live with it though. Toll exemption for residents on nearby region, that is something I'm more opposed to. Norway doesn't have this thing everywhere, and they work just fine.

But none of that is really relevant for the road tax debate in Germany. We all know this is not about, say, diminishing a toll burden on a specific small town that has just one viable tunnel connection with the rest of the country, nor about not imposing a heavy bridge toll on a small island whose local ferry has withdrawn when a much larger national route bridge was built.

On a broader sense, almost all Western European countries raise substantial more special* road and car taxes than they ever use to maintain the network, even if you were to account to other costs like medical payments for accidents, pollution controls (with modern engines) etc.

Road transport is a money grab for governments all over Europe.

From a practical standpoint, treat A8 as an isolated case, as others said, put a toll there (for everybody) and be done with it.

*special taxes in the sense they are not just regular VAT applied to the costs or cars and fuels that people pay in general.
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Old November 10th, 2016, 04:39 PM   #9020
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Are there some countries in the world that impose tolls differently between locals and foreigners? I can't think of any.
Serbia did that, they phased it out between 2006 and 2008.
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