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Green Taxation and Environmental Sustainability

Green Taxation and Environmental Sustainability

Critical Issues in Environmental Taxation series

Edited by Larry Kreiser, Ana Yábar Sterling, Pedro Herrera, Janet E. Milne and Hope Ashiabor

Green Taxation and Environmental Sustainability explores the critical issue of how taxes can be applied across relevant environmental areas – including transport, nuclear power, and water and waste management – to achieve sustainability.

Chapter 16: Landfill and waste incineration taxes in Catalonia, Spain

Ignasi Puig Ventosa, Ana Citlalic González Martínez and Marta Jofra Sora

Subjects: economics and finance, environmental economics, public finance, environment, climate change, environmental economics, law - academic, tax law and fiscal policy


This chapter describes and analyses the effectiveness of the tax on landfill and incineration of municipal solid waste in Catalonia (Spain). Although four other Spanish autonomous regions apply taxes on landfill and incineration of waste (Madrid, Andalusia, Murcia and Cantabria), they affect radioactive, industrial or construction and demolition waste. The tax in Catalonia is unique in Spain as it affects municipal solid waste. In addition, this tax stands out within the OECD (OECD/EEA, n.d.) as it allows the channelling back of the revenue to taxpayers according to their waste performance. In theory, the main objective of environmental taxes is to stimulate positive environmental behaviours (Baumol and Oates, 1988). Thus, in the case of taxes on landfill or incineration of waste, the main goal is to influence waste authorities to decrease the use of these waste treatments compared to more environmentally friendly options. However, the use of the revenues raised by environmental taxes is also relevant, which in the case of taxes on waste can potentially be allocated to finance activities that encourage prevention, recycling or recovery of waste.

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