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      07-11-2014, 02:49 PM   #1
Dackelone
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Arrow Germany Proposes a Road Tax Aimed Primarily at Foreigners...

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(pictured above is the LKW/truck electronic toll system introduced a few years ago. IF a truck passes without the proper electronic gear or insufficient funds on their "toll card" the driver's picture will be taken along with the trucks license plate and a ticket issued to the driver and owner of the truck).



The German's have been talking about taxing the Autobahns for quite some time now(for many years). Looks like there is sufficient momentum for this "road toll" to become German Law soon - this year. IF passed the new "tax" would start on Jan 1st, 2016.

The Dutch and Austrian's will fight this out in the EU courts though. German drivers of cars will have to buy a Vignette, but the taxes on their cars due when you renew your tags will go down to offset this Vignette tax/costs. This is how the German government (plans to)get around the "foreigner road tax" so to not upset the EU courts.

The the German plan is to charge a toll (€100 or so per year for a Vignette) and you must display a vignette(windshield sticker/decal), much like system used Austria or in Switzerland. The German system differs in that, German plated cars will have to buy a Vignette/tax but they will pay a LOWER yearly road tax for their license plates(yearly tax) - that is how the politicians are trying to "sell" this new tax.

German government plans to reduce the yearly road tax for Germans(paid for their license plates/registration, normally several hundreds of euros each year, depending on engine size/and how efficient it is, commission standards), since this new "toll road tax" will be a huge windfall for the German government. Some news reports say 600 million euros, some reports say it will be over 2 billion euros!! It will be a lot of money that's for sure - going to the German tax man.


The new "toll" will be to travel ANY and ALL roads in Germany. Looks like Rental cars would also have to pay this tax. We shall see what parts of the "plan" become law. ?




Dackel

...............................................
New York Times...
By ALISON SMALE JULY 7, 2014



BERLIN — The German government announced plans on Monday to charge a road-use fee on all cars using roads and highways in Germany, a measure aimed at the foreign-registered cars that make an estimated 170 million trips to and through the country each year.

Grappling with decaying infrastructure, particularly in densely populated areas of western Germany, the government brushed aside criticism that the measure was too sweeping or violated European Union norms.

Alexander Dobrindt, the transport minister, designated the new toll an “infrastructure levy,” which he said would add 2.5 billion euros, or $3.4 billion, over a four-year period to the funds available for road repair and construction.

He said foreigners would be able to buy 10-day road-use passes for €10 and two-month passes for €20. Mr. Dobrindt added that no foreigner could expect to pay more than €100 every 12 months.

The charge for a whole year — most likely to apply to German-registered vehicles — would vary according to the size and age of the car, he said.

Germans will be compensated for the new road-use fee through reductions in the current vehicle tax, Mr. Dobrindt said, and “will not pay more than they do today.” The goal is to have the new fee in place by Jan. 1, 2016.

To German voters, car ownership and the ability to drive at unlimited speed on some stretches of highway are considered among the most sensitive and sacrosanct privileges.

There is already a toll on trucks, which will continue. The heavy truck traffic crisscrossing Germany is widely blamed for much of the damage to its highways and roads.

In Germany’s west, roads and bridges have fallen into disrepair over the two decades since unification, while billions of euros have been spent on infrastructure in the more sparsely populated former East Germany.

Introducing measures to improve infrastructure and rectify this regional inequality was part of the coalition agreement that Chancellor Angela Merkel and her Christian Democratic Party reached with the center-left Social Democrats when they formed a government last November.

One of the few arguments that rippled through Ms. Merkel’s election campaign last year was a fight with the Christian Democrats’ sister party, the Christian Social Union, over its insistence on introducing a highway toll. The chancellor said she would never support such a measure.

Technically speaking, Ms. Merkel has kept her promise because the new measure is a fee on the use of any road, and not just the dense network of autobahns, or highways, which are a vital and much-used part of Europe’s network of land transport.

Critics were swift to argue that the proposal would discriminate against Poles, Czechs, Austrians, Swiss, Dutch and other neighbors by effectively making those living near the border pay a charge for crossing into Germany for regular errands or work, even if they did not use the highways.

Others said Mr. Dobrindt would face a challenge from the European Union. Germany would in effect be charging “an entry fee,” said Ulrich Klaus Becker, vice president of ADAC, the largest German association of car owners.

The proposal is certain to be the subject of lively debate before and during its passage through Parliament. Political wrangling will also intensify between the federal government and Germany’s 16 states, which have demanded a share of the new revenue.

Mr. Dobrindt raised no objections to that demand on Monday, but tussling over the amounts is likely, especially for states with heavy foreign traffic.

Members of the Greens party objected to the suggested toll, noting that it would in effect punish those who drive relatively little by requiring them to pay the same amount as heavy users of the nation’s roads.
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      07-11-2014, 03:17 PM   #2
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I wonder if they'll put up tolls in the speed restriction zones or include them with the "end all restrictions" signs?
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      07-11-2014, 03:53 PM   #3
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Trucker (LKW) toll system in Germany...

Quote:
Originally Posted by 954Stealth View Post
I wonder if they'll put up tolls in the speed restriction zones or include them with the "end all restrictions" signs?
No, the way the German's will do it is with a Vignette decal/sticker and enforcement with cameras and polizei. No Vignette(you place the sticker on your windshield) and you will get Flashed(Blitz'd) and a fine/ticket comes in the mail or you pay on the spot in cash.


These camera bridges went up around 2005. The cost something like 350 million euros. EVERY truck that travels in Germany must have about 2K euros of special digital data logging equipment in the trucks and then they have to load a smart card at any gas station or truck stop that goes into the LKW Maut toll in every truck. The system uses satellites, GPS and fixed cameras as an enforcement. Plus every truck has a data recorder for speed and time - so the truck driver's only drive eight hours per day. Trucks(LKW's) are enforced by Polizei and special truck police called BAG. These guys look like Polizei, but the vans say BAG on them.


The trucks pay about 17 euro cents per Autobahn kilometer!


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      07-11-2014, 03:56 PM   #4
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Aha! Very interesting, thanks for sharing that
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      07-11-2014, 04:12 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 954Stealth View Post
Aha! Very interesting, thanks for sharing that
No problem. A couple of other things... Trucks are not allowed to drive on ALL German Autobahns from 10pm Saturday until 10pm Sunday. Unless the truck has a special permit for sensitive cargo.

Also in the summer months (I think from late July until the first week of September) trucks are not allowed to drive on ALL Autobahns in Bayern(Bavaria). This is to help vacation congestion/traffic heading South to Italy for the summer.

All trucks are limited to 500 PS and are electronically speed limited to 80 kph on the Autobahn.


As for unlimited sections of the Autobahn... I think they will always be an "unlimited" "free" Autobahn system. The Germans are so passionate about this like American's are about the right to bare arms! Really, its that touchy of an issue over here.
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      07-11-2014, 06:03 PM   #6
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Interesting
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      07-12-2014, 04:40 AM   #7
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So I got to pay little money to drive on the autobahn what's he big deal?
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      07-12-2014, 04:59 AM   #8
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So I got to pay little money to drive on the autobahn what's he big deal?
I am guessing the other countries are not happy with Germany forcing them to pay to drive through and the locals like myself are free to go. It's a way of stealing from other countries to benefit Germany. You have to do the same thing driving through Austria but everybody pays.
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      07-12-2014, 05:00 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dackelone View Post
No, the way the German's will do it is with a Vignette decal/sticker and enforcement with cameras and polizei. No Vignette(you place the sticker on your windshield) and you will get Flashed(Blitz'd) and a fine/ticket comes in the mail or you pay on the spot in cash.


These camera bridges went up around 2005. The cost something like 350 million euros. EVERY truck that travels in Germany must have about 2K euros of special digital data logging equipment in the trucks and then they have to load a smart card at any gas station or truck stop that goes into the LKW Maut toll in every truck. The system uses satellites, GPS and fixed cameras as an enforcement. Plus every truck has a data recorder for speed and time - so the truck driver's only drive eight hours per day. Trucks(LKW's) are enforced by Polizei and special truck police called BAG. These guys look like Polizei, but the vans say BAG on them.


The trucks pay about 17 euro cents per Autobahn kilometer!


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I have been in Germany for 8 years now and I always wondered what those were. My German wife didn't even know. Knowledge is power, hahaha!
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      07-12-2014, 07:38 AM   #10
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The Germans are so passionate about this like American's are about the right to bare arms!
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      07-12-2014, 08:15 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wojcikgu View Post
The Germans are so passionate about this like American's are about the right to bare arms!
Yes, I am very passionate about this. I REFUSE to wear long sleeves. They'll have to pry my short sleeve shirts from my cold, dead hands.

Last edited by Kyle B; 07-12-2014 at 11:27 AM.
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      07-12-2014, 08:34 AM   #12
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Yes, I am very passionate about this. I REFUSE to wear long sleeves. They'll have to pry my short sleeve shirts from my cold, dead hands.
Our forearms shall have their day in the sun!
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      07-12-2014, 09:12 AM   #13
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I think it makes sense and is reasonable. 90% of the wear of the highway is incurred by heavy cargo vehicles, especially so in Europe where the weather is not as effective at destroying roads as it is here. And as far as rolling for free on foreign highway, that could b seen as free ridding on the local's tax money.
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      07-12-2014, 09:37 AM   #14
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I lived in Germany in the mid-80's when most autobahns in Bayern were wide open. We went back in 2009 and I was shocked at the traffic. Around the cities the right lanes were near solid lines of trucks. The construction everywhere (needed to handle the traffic) made things worse. The Germans I spoke with explained the huge increase in traffic, especially trucks, since the opening of the borders. Germany really is the crossroads of Europe. Makes sense to have those who use their roads pay for them.
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      07-12-2014, 11:28 AM   #15
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Our forearms shall have their day in the sun!
Tank tops and justice for all. 'Murica.
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      07-12-2014, 03:44 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M_Six View Post
I lived in Germany in the mid-80's when most autobahns in Bayern were wide open. We went back in 2009 and I was shocked at the traffic. Around the cities the right lanes were near solid lines of trucks. The construction everywhere (needed to handle the traffic) made things worse. The Germans I spoke with explained the huge increase in traffic, especially trucks, since the opening of the borders. Germany really is the crossroads of Europe. Makes sense to have those who use their roads pay for them.

Yea... traffic has increased since the borders are now "open" without passport controls. Now a days its common to see cars from countries from far to the East of Germany. In theory we have a United States of Europe... but in practice it really doesn't work.

Yes, its only fair to pay your fair share. Most trucks have one 500 liter fuel tank. It's not allowed to install a second aux fuel tank - but some do. German fuel gets taxed to pay for the roads - over 65% of the fuel price(per liter)amounts to tax! The problem is IF a truck can drive from Romania to England AND back(!), without refueling... Germany looses out on that tax source. The roads get more wear and tear... and no tax money for rebuilding the road network. This is one reason the LWK(truck) electronic tolls went up a few years ago. They always said the system would never be used for cars - but we all knew this was a lie. We all know a tax on cars(to use the German road network & Autobahns) would come one day.

In the past the ADAC(German Automobile Club. think of AAA and the Gun lobby, and you get the idea of the ADAC's political power) has always shot down any attempt to tax(or place a toll) on German cars driving in Germany. But this year ADAC had a few scandals of their own and their political power is not what it use to be.

Also fuel is a lot cheap from either Eastern or Western countries bc they tax their fuel less. Consequently, German gas stations on either German border(East and West) have gone out of business. People can drive 15km and pay 20 euro cents less for fuel from East, West and Southern countries.

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      07-16-2014, 12:31 PM   #17
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The more I read about Germany, the more I like it. I don't see why it's a problem to tax foreigners who use their expensive highway network, it's just asking to be fair and offset a little cost. It's like when I see cars with Mexican Baja California plates in San Diego, they pay nothing to maintain our roads.
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      07-17-2014, 08:27 AM   #18
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Funny when I was in Germany, Austria and Switzerland last week this was all over the radio

The funny part is that both Austria and Switzerland have a Vignette and they complain! I personally think its only fair, the Germans pay a lot of taxes already. Also everyone in the EU can drive the German highway for free and the roads are very well maintained!

There was a sign on the Autobahn that the roads will be fixed "soon" my friend said that the road isn't really that bad just need to be fixed! In Canada they wait till the pot holes are big enough then start fixing it!
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      07-17-2014, 03:45 PM   #19
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There was a sign on the Autobahn that the roads will be fixed "soon" my friend said that the road isn't really that bad just need to be fixed! In Canada they wait till the pot holes are big enough then start fixing it!

Another interesting thing is... when a construction company wins a contract to repair a section of Autobahn... not only do they have to finish the job on budget(and on time!) BUT they also have to guaranty their work for many, many years! So the repair has to last!! This ain't no "lowest bid" contract.
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