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Germany has finally announced how it will reform its tax system to factor in CO2 emission levels. After a long political struggle between the two main parties, the SPD and the CDU/CSU, the system will not only change from being based on engine displacement to be dependent on CO2 emission levels, but will change hands. Until now, car taxes were a matter of the Länder (states). This new system is a Federal one, and the switch is blamed as the reason for the delay. The Länder will get &eu

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It's easy to argue that road taxes are quite unfair because they're flat: You pay fees to drive around; it doesn't matter how much you actually use the car.

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A win is a win, right? We're content to consider the fact that two-thirds of new car buyers in the U.K. are considering going green for their next car purchase a good thing, despite the fact that most of them are doing so to save money, not the environment. What Car? group editor Steve Fowler says that "with the cost of living increasing and with wages failing to keep up, car buyers are saying financial pressures are of more concern than helping the environment." If this is the case, it seems th

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The ACEA (European Automobile Manufacturer's Association) recently published a statement that calls EU members' tendency to tax vehicles according to CO2 production figures a positive step. The ACEA recognizes that it's an effective and wise measure to make motorists choices more fuel-efficient vehicles. They do not, however, think that a Registration Tax (such as Spain) is adequate or that most of the work is done, since current schemes still rely on power, cylinder capacity or a combination o

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So much has been written already regarding London Mayor Ken Livingstone's new road tax that we never really spent too much time analyzing the plan itself. Fortunately, though, Clean Green Cars did it for us. EDIT: The Vehicle Excise Duty is different than the new congestion charge that Ken Livingstone is implementing. Sorry for the confusion, and thanks for the correction. As it stands, the road tax divides vehicles up into twelve "bands", separated by how much CO2 they emit. All of that seems t

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Do you live in the UK? Do you drive a gas guzzler, that is, a car which road tax falls into band G? Bad news for you. Mr. Taxman, well, chancellor Alistair Darling, is going to tweak the tax system next week to give it some "green flavor." In last year's budget, the British government announced a tax increase for polluting "band G vehicles" from £300 ($603) to £400 ($804) that will take effect next month. There was also a cut for "band B" vehicles, which have lower emissions, from &p

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Austria is also changing its taxing system to "punish" the most polluting cars on the road. The new tax scheme, which is called NoVa-Reform, consists of a bonus-malus system that saves or adds taxes to cars depending on a number of factors.

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In many places around the world, roads are financed at least in part by a tax added to the price of fuel. When we head to the pumps, we pay for a little bit of the road we drive out onto as we leave the station. But people who make their own biofuels don't pay these taxes and yet they drive on roads other people pay for. To make sure the load is balanced out a bit, many governments tax biofuels whether they are home-brewed or purchased. To get an idea of how this plays out in Alaska, check out t

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