Finance

Cabinet decides higher motor vehicle tax for gas guzzlers

The federal cabinet has decided to adjust the vehicle tax. The bill is designed to ensure that consumers buy more climate-friendly cars. The project was controversial until the end.

Motor vehicle tax is expected to increase from 2021 for newly registered cars with high fuel consumption. On Friday in Berlin, the Federal Cabinet launched an amendment to the law for more climate protection, which should encourage citizens to buy more economical cars. Already registered cars are not affected.

The effect is very small for typical small cars and classic family cars. The climate component starts at 96 grams of CO2, which is emitted per kilometer. According to this, gasoline and diesel should cost 30 euros less per year than under the previous regulations if they emit less than 95 grams of CO2.

The vehicle tax for cars that emit more than 116 grams of CO2 per kilometer should be increased compared to today. The tax is especially expensive for large and heavy SUVs or sports cars. After the cabinet decision, the Bundestag is now on the move.

Environmental associations criticize tax reform

The reform is part of the climate package of the black-red coalition. There is criticism from two sides: For one, the planned clearer climate component in the tax does not go far enough. Others fear that the reform will harm the automotive industry, which earns well from SUVs.

On Tuesday, Environment Minister Svenja Schulze (SPD) initially unsuccessfully intervened with party friend and finance minister Olaf Scholz. The planned climate component was clearly too weak for her and environmental associations.

The environmental organization Greenpeace had also criticized that the buyer of a Porsche Cayenne had to pay only 180 euros a year later. However, the SPD is already under pressure from IG Metall and the works councils of the automotive industry, since the party leadership had rejected a purchase premium for diesel and petrol.

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