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Old March 23rd, 2015, 10:51 PM   #1181
Rebasepoiss
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Putin presented the border treaty to the duma last week for ratification but the whole process will still probably take a few years.
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Old March 23rd, 2015, 11:05 PM   #1182
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Putin presented the border treaty to the duma last week for ratification but the whole process will still probably take a few years.
Thank's for the information. I don't understand why they didn't build a road along the border, to avoid that small piece of Russia. That would be only a few kilometers of road, cheaper and much faster than those negotiations with Russia?

Is the Boot still open for bicycles?

EDIT, Link to a newsarticle: http://news.err.ee/v/politics/9f6c44...2-f765815fd15e

Last edited by SvMp; March 23rd, 2015 at 11:31 PM.
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Old March 24th, 2015, 12:33 AM   #1183
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Well, the negotiations are necessary anyway because the current border between Estonia and Russia is a "temporary" control line i.e. there isn't a border treaty between Estonia and Russia at the moment.

Saatse boot is also the largest part of land that Estonia will get from Russia after the border treaty has been signed. Lands will be exchanged in equal amounts, totalling 129 hectares - Saatse boot is 115 hectares. It would be logical to have Saatse boot anyway and the current solution where you can drive (or indeed cycle) through a small piece of Russia without stopping has worked so far. The route around the border would be 4 times as long and there are villages on both sides of Saatse boot.

Yes, you can cycle through the area but you may not get off your bike. You can see that spot on Street View.

Last edited by Rebasepoiss; March 24th, 2015 at 12:39 AM.
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Old March 25th, 2015, 07:36 PM   #1184
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The road tax debate keeps coming up more frequently in Estonia but the public is still strongly against it. I'd say the most likely first move would be to have a road tax for heavy vehicles (for all users). Currently only those trucking companies that are located in Estonia have to pay the state a so called heavy vehicle tax but this means that foreign trucks can drive through "tax-free".

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Estonia will not escape road tax - Kallas

Channeling taxpayers' money into road construction is on the decline in Europe, search is on for «user pays» schemes to finance roads, and Estonia too will not be able to avoid the issue of road charges, former European Commission vice president and transport commissioner Siim Kallas says.


«A strong discussion has started in Europe on the subject of funding road construction and maintenance,» Kallas said on Wednesday at a roads-themed conference organized by the Estonian Road Cluster and the Tallinn University of Applied Sciences. «There are in Europe two countries that collect no money at all for the use of roads - Finland and Estonia. In other countries road charges exist in one or another form. It would be practical to address this issue since things are moving in this direction.»

According to Kallas many infrastructure builders are showing initiative in developing commercial schemes of road funding: «France certainly serves as an example. In Estonia, too, road builders could form consortiums and undertake the management of one or another road. How about a consortium to build and manage the four-lane Tallinn-Tartu highway?»

But the ex-commissioner also noted that infrastructure development decisions are often very politically sensitive and therefore it is necessary to ensure long-term infrastructure investment plans against political intervention. «Demanding from contracting entities a clear plan how to protect projects against NIMBY activities is regarded as the right course, because poorly handled political and legal debates slow down the construction of necessary structures, freeze financial resources and cause uncertainty. The above-mentioned consortium model requires political certainty and a clear state framework,» he said.
I'd say that for personal vehicles only motorways and expressways should qualify for a road toll. The problem is that we have neither and will probably never have.

Last edited by Rebasepoiss; March 25th, 2015 at 07:41 PM.
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Old March 25th, 2015, 07:47 PM   #1185
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Is there no road tax for Estonian registered vehicles? This guy claims there are no taxes related to roads in Estonia (and Finland).

Numerous taxes were introduced throughout Europe to fund road construction. These often used to be purpose taxes, but became general taxes. It's a bit ridiculous to claim motorists don't pay for roads just because the taxes they pay are not specifically earmarked to roads (anymore). Even if motorists don't pay a toll, that doesn't mean motorists don't pay for using the roads, as they often suggest.

In many countries, motorists pay far more taxes than is spent on roads, it's just not a direct user fee.

I don't see the problem of tax-funded roadways. We consider it completely normal that health care, social security, public transport, defense or education is partially or entirely funded through taxation. But once it comes to roads, it all the sudden isn't fair and needs to be 'user fees'.
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Old March 25th, 2015, 09:20 PM   #1186
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Is there no road tax for Estonian registered vehicles? This guy claims there are no taxes related to roads in Estonia (and Finland).
As for Finland I confirm.

We have a car tax (added to the price of a new car), vehicle tax (for having a car in use, no matter how much use) and fuel tax, but really, there is no particular road tax. There is some political debate on introducing one, though.
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Old March 25th, 2015, 09:28 PM   #1187
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Is there no road tax for Estonian registered vehicles? This guy claims there are no taxes related to roads in Estonia (and Finland).

[...]
In many countries, motorists pay far more taxes than is spent on roads, it's just not a direct user fee.

I don't see the problem of tax-funded roadways. We consider it completely normal that health care, social security, public transport, defense or education is partially or entirely funded through taxation. But once it comes to roads, it all the sudden isn't fair and needs to be 'user fees'.
The only tax motorists pay in Estonia is fuel tax. But fuel is also used in other industries (and rail transport) so it isn't only earmarked for roads.

There is no car tax added to the price of the car in Estonia, neither is there a vehicle tax nor a pollution tax.

If you add together the budget for local roads, city streets and state roads, even the fuel tax in it's whole wouldn't cover it.

Last edited by Rebasepoiss; March 25th, 2015 at 09:33 PM.
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Old March 25th, 2015, 09:47 PM   #1188
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I see. So if you buy a car, you'll only pay VAT? And there is no registration tax or other monthly / annual tax?

In the Netherlands we have;

* car purchase tax (usually around 40 - 45% of net price)
* VAT (21%)
* car ownership tax (formerly called a road tax), which varies between € 20 and over € 100 per month (I have a small car and pay € 25).
* fuel tax
* foreign trucks pay the Eurovignette
* there are no general toll roads except two tunnels outside the main network

This generates in the amount of € 16 billion (more if you include VAT) and the net spending on roads is under € 4 billion (all governments combined).
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Old March 25th, 2015, 09:52 PM   #1189
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I see. So if you buy a car, you'll only pay VAT? And there is no registration tax or other monthly / annual tax?
That is correct.

Technically there is a state fee of € 130 for registering a new car but everything has a state fee (passports, ID cards, other documentation etc.) so it doesn't really count as a tax.
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Old March 25th, 2015, 09:58 PM   #1190
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If you add together the budget for local roads, city streets and state roads, even the fuel tax in it's whole wouldn't cover it.
The problem is that current road money is used by the government to fill holes in budget. By law 75% of fuel tax and 25% of special fuel tax (predicted income for the current year) should go for roads. In reality they calculate this number, then replace tax money as much as possible with EU funds and finally take as much as they can for other needs, leaving the minimum amount to keep state roads in shape and do critically needed upgrades. EU funds aren't there forever, so this is why the talks... If we get new tax, why something should change? Money will still go not for the roads.
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Old March 25th, 2015, 10:18 PM   #1191
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That's the problem with these so-called 'user fees' as well. Many motoring taxes in Europe were originally user fees, but became part of general taxation, introducing new user fees over and over again, increasing the tax burden on motoring considerably.

Now, I don't mind paying the taxes needed to fund the roads. But at least in western Europe it's a cash cow, not a 'user fee'. If motoring taxes were truly user fees to fund roads, the tax burden could be reduced by three quarters in some countries. Those EU policymakers always make it sound like motorists don't pay their fair share of taxes.
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Old March 25th, 2015, 10:33 PM   #1192
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Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
I don't see the problem of tax-funded roadways. We consider it completely normal that health care, social security, public transport, defense or education is partially or entirely funded through taxation. But once it comes to roads, it all the sudden isn't fair and needs to be 'user fees'.
Defense, roads, sanitation, clean air and water, and prevention/treatment of infectious diseases are public goods. Social security and most medical care are private goods. Education and public transportation are both public and private goods (the people who receive the education and use the public transportation benefit the most, but everyone else also benefits from a generally more educated populace and more people using public transportation.
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Old March 26th, 2015, 12:38 AM   #1193
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hasper View Post
The problem is that current road money is used by the government to fill holes in budget. By law 75% of fuel tax and 25% of special fuel tax (predicted income for the current year) should go for roads. In reality they calculate this number, then replace tax money as much as possible with EU funds and finally take as much as they can for other needs, leaving the minimum amount to keep state roads in shape and do critically needed upgrades. EU funds aren't there forever, so this is why the talks... If we get new tax, why something should change? Money will still go not for the roads.
Didn't the last (well, the current government for another few weeks) change that law so now the state roads' budget isn't tied to the amount of fuel tax collected?
Edit: I checked and yes, starting from this year there is no longer a link between fuel tax and state road funding.
----

The point of Siim Kallas was (if I understood correctly) that there would be a road tax (or toll) collected either by a private consortium that owns and maintains the road or by the Road Administration itself. In that case the money wouldn't go to the big money pile of the government where it could be used for other purposes.

Last edited by Rebasepoiss; March 26th, 2015 at 10:01 AM.
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Old March 26th, 2015, 04:04 AM   #1194
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That is correct.

Technically there is a state fee of € 130 for registering a new car but everything has a state fee (passports, ID cards, other documentation etc.) so it doesn't really count as a tax.
Once you buy a car in EST, are there fees for registration? Like for 130 EUR they give you plates, but next year, do you pay?

In Quebec I paid something like $450 per year just for the priviledge of keeping the license plate on the car... $318 for registration, $50 city tax, the rest "engine tax" as the car had engine of 4,3 L.

Next-door Ontario, only $98 per year and I was happy
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Old March 26th, 2015, 10:04 AM   #1195
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It's a one time thing: € 130 for registration and € 62 for number plates. There are no annual taxes. Considering the price of a new car it's a negligible amount.
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Old March 26th, 2015, 10:40 AM   #1196
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I see. So if you buy a car, you'll only pay VAT? And there is no registration tax or other monthly / annual tax?

In the Netherlands we have;

* car purchase tax (usually around 40 - 45% of net price)
* VAT (21%)
* car ownership tax (formerly called a road tax), which varies between € 20 and over € 100 per month (I have a small car and pay € 25).
* fuel tax
* foreign trucks pay the Eurovignette
* there are no general toll roads except two tunnels outside the main network

This generates in the amount of € 16 billion (more if you include VAT) and the net spending on roads is under € 4 billion (all governments combined).
pretty disgusting state of affairs IMO
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Old March 27th, 2015, 01:38 AM   #1197
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My love of Estonia continues to increase!

forget Toronto I should move to Talinn
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Old April 3rd, 2015, 06:49 PM   #1198
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Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
I see. So if you buy a car, you'll only pay VAT? And there is no registration tax or other monthly / annual tax?

In the Netherlands we have;

* car purchase tax (usually around 40 - 45% of net price)
* VAT (21%)
* car ownership tax (formerly called a road tax), which varies between € 20 and over € 100 per month (I have a small car and pay € 25).
* fuel tax
* foreign trucks pay the Eurovignette
* there are no general toll roads except two tunnels outside the main network

This generates in the amount of € 16 billion (more if you include VAT) and the net spending on roads is under € 4 billion (all governments combined).

Here is what I would pay in Ohio when buying a car:

- 6.5% sales tax
- Title/License fees (about $250)
- Car registration ($50/year)

That's it! The only annual expense I have is my car registration ($50).
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Old April 8th, 2015, 02:42 PM   #1199
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Starting from tomorrow speed limits on dual carriageways will be mostly raised to 110 km/h for the summer.

This year the Estonian Road Administration is turning more attention to traffic safety on 110 km/h sections.

This means that a section on T1/E20 will retain its 90 km/h limit due to a left turn, several U-turns and exits.


T4/E67 also has issues with traffic safety but on that section they will eliminate 4 U-turns (which is all of them), after which the speed limit will be raised to 110 km/h.


An overall map of the 110 km/h speed limit:
Green - starting from tomorrow.
Yellow - after repaving/reconstruction is complete or U-turns have been eliminated.



BTW, note the Luige section on Tallinn bypass. The Road Administration has previously said that they won't raise the speed limit there but I guess they changed their mind
The short section near Haljala interchange (on T1/E20) will also get a 110 km/h speed limit this year.

--------------------------

On another note, the new government has promised to extend the dual carriageway on T2/E263 or Tallinn-Tartu road by 40 km by the end of 2020. This would cost an estimated € 210 million but it's not yet known where that money would come from. I'm also skeptical about this because the same has been promised before...

If it indeed got built, we would have a continuous 80 km dual carriageway from Tallinn to Mäo (Mäo bypass is already 2x2).
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Old April 8th, 2015, 10:51 PM   #1200
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What's the AADT of that 40 kilometer section? Quick search on Google didn't find me any usefull information.
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