Tax and Regulatory Policies for European Transport – Getting There, But in the Slow Lane

33 Pages Posted: 26 May 2015

See all articles by Bruno De Borger

Bruno De Borger

University of Antwerp - Department of Economics

Stef Proost

KU Leuven - Department of Economics

Date Written: May 2015

Abstract

This paper surveys tax and regulatory policies for road transport in the EU. According to the economic literature, policy reforms are needed that substitute current fuel and vehicle taxes by car and truck user taxes that depend on place and time of use. The survey analyzes how policies have developed over the last 20 years, what was their motivation and what were the main effects. Two ideas stand out. First, external cost concepts have been successfully introduced in policy thinking, but they have mainly lead to quantitative climate, energy and modal split objectives. Achieving these objectives has guided member states into costly policy reforms that have neglected other objectives, such as the efficient use of the current road infrastructure. Second, distance charging for trucks is a policy innovation that is spreading rapidly, but it risks to be mainly used for tax exporting rather than for better internalizing external costs.

Keywords: Transport taxes, fuel taxes, road pricing, distance charging, transport policy in the EU, external costs

JEL Classification: R41, R48, Q58

Suggested Citation

De Borger, Bruno and Proost, Stef V., Tax and Regulatory Policies for European Transport – Getting There, But in the Slow Lane (May 2015). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2610580 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2610580

Bruno De Borger (Contact Author)

University of Antwerp - Department of Economics ( email )

Prinsstraat 13
Antwerp, B-2000
Belgium
+32/3/220.40.31 (Phone)
+32/3/220.47.99 (Fax)

Stef V. Proost

KU Leuven - Department of Economics ( email )

Leuven, B-3000
Belgium
016 32 66 35 (Phone)
016 32 67 96 (Fax)

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