June 22, 2021

The new taxes on plastic and waste, advance of the green taxes that come


MADRID

Updated:

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The Government has approved this morning in the Council of Ministers the draft Law on Waste and Contaminated Soils that contains two new taxes, on waste and disposable plastics, for the Congress of Deputies to process. The two taxes represent the advancement of a path to increase the environmental tax burden in our country, with the intention of bringing it closer to the community average, after the European Commission,
IMF
and the OECD have repeatedly asked Spain to increase its income in this area. In the
Recovery Plan
sent to Brussels, the Government states that in the third quarter will be when both figures come into force.

The two taxes were incorporated in the forecasts of the General State Budgets of 2021, estimating a joint collection of 1,352 million euros. A forecast that was of 491 million in the case of the plastic tax and 861 in the case of waste. Specifically, the Executive will incorporate a «landfill and incineration tax so landfill disposal is the last option», Has described the Minister of Finance and Government spokesperson, María Jesús Montero, in a subsequent press conference.

Some communities have similar taxes, others do not, so there will be a harmonization in this sense of these figures, something demanded for years by the General Council of Economists due to the high tax dispersion in this regard. Thus, a special tax of 0.45 euros per kilogram will be set on non-reusable plastic containers. The European Union gave the green light last year to a community tax that would enter this year on plastics, with a tax of 0.8 euros per kilogram, so in the long run this figure should be integrated into community accounts.

However, Montero herself has admitted on occasion that both taxes
will collect less than expected in the Budgets
, before the delay of its processing. The Independent Authority for Fiscal Responsibility (Airef), calculates that they will only enter a quarter of what you estimated last year the Government, 313 million, with 98 from the tax on plastics and 215 from the waste.

Registration and circulation tax

Along with this, the Government states in the Recovery Plan sent to Brussels that “in the first quarter of 2022 the registration and circulation taxes». In the second quarter of 2022, “the reform of the Tax on Fluorinated Greenhouse Gases»With the intention of« guaranteeing an effective control of these gases in accordance with a harmonized European regulation ».

More tax pressure on diesel

Diesel taxation will be discussed later. «In the fourth quarter of 2022 the taxation on hydrocarbons will be reviewed», He says. “The tax rates in the Tax on Hydrocarbons are higher for gasoline than for diesel”, recalls the Government in the document sent to Brussels, adding that for the same technological level of motor, “diesel pollution is not less than the gas”.

The Executive already included an increase in the diesel tax in the 2021 Budget project, although the PNV eliminated it in exchange for its support to the accounts, for which it planned to raise 500 million. The total tax equalization Diesel and gasoline would mean 2,600 million euros more per year, as calculated in 2019 by the Alternativas Foundation, a ‘think tank’ close to the PSOE, whose research service was then directed by the current president of the experts for tax reform, Jesús Ruiz Huerta.

Other figures to penalize the use of the car

In any event, the Executive «considers requires the review of the currently existing rebates on some fuels used in the automotive industry»Therefore« in order to achieve more sustainable mobility, The figures that tax or could tax the use or disposal of vehicles or the use of roads, among others, must be analyzed».

“In the fourth quarter of 2023, the review of other figures that affect sustainable mobility will be carried out,” he says. In fact, the Alternativas Foundation already proposed in 2019 “taxes on the use of the vehicle”, with “variable tax rates depending on the location, time of day and type of vehicle.” The goal, according to the agency, would be to reduce congestion, pollution, noise, accidents and the wear and tear of infrastructure.

Tax on airline tickets

The Government also opens the door to increase the tax burden on air travel, since it undertakes to “review the taxation of the air sector to act on the emissions of these sectors.” The Treasury already published in February 2020 a project to create a tax on airline tickets. However, shortly after the pandemic broke out and due to the interruption of mobility and tourism, the plan was put into a drawer. As collected by the Executive in the plan sent to Brussels, now this plan could be revived.

A report by the Fundación Alternativas prepared, among others, by Xavier Labandeira, an expert in the group of wise men on tax reform, calculated that introducing a tax on airline tickets would enter 1,366 million. Germany, France -which began in 2020 with a tax of 1.5 euros per ticket that can climb to 18 euros, with a planned collection of 180 million-, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Austria and Norway already have taxes on aviation.

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