Environmental Fiscal Challenges for Cities and Transport
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Environmental Fiscal Challenges for Cities and Transport

Edited by Marta Villar Ezcurra, Janet E. Milne, Hope Ashiabor and Mikael Skou Andersen

As populations become increasingly concentrated in urban centres and mega cities, while demands on transportation continue to grow, the question of how to mitigate the environmental footprint of these trends is ever more pressing. This comprehensive book demonstrates the potentially significant role of environmental taxation and other market-based instruments in meeting these challenges.
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Chapter 11: Taxing vehicle use to overcome the problems of conventional transport taxes

Alberto Gago, Xavier Labandeira and Xiral López-Otero


Road transport has traditionally been subject to a number of taxes, the purposes being to collect revenue, cover infrastructure costs and correct externalities. However, in recent years several factors have been undermining the operation and effectiveness of such taxes: pervasive local pollution and congestion problems that are only indirectly related to vehicle type and fuel consumption; the trend towards a more energy-efficient fleet, reducing the revenue capabilities of the system; and increased changes in mobility options. In this chapter we suggest a new approach towards transport taxation that is based on both the characteristics of the vehicle and its actual use. Taxing the real use of a vehicle is now technologically feasible and can more effectively tackle the externalities associated with road transport, while maintaining revenue-raising capabilities. Given the difficulties associated with an immediate transition, the chapter also considers several alternatives for moving from the current tax situation.

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