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Environmental Taxes in Ireland

This is Elisabeth Rosenthal reporting from Dublin. In Ireland, garbage collection has become a method of tax collection.

Each one has a unique chip, you just scan it in.

Using a censor on each bin, every household is taxed by the weight of its garbage. But recycling and compost bins are emptied for free.

Take that out—this card, and you bring that back to the office and downloaded and it takes all the data from the day…

As European countries struggle with debt, the European Union is urging them to raise more money using environmental taxation.

Contrary to what many Americans like to think, it’s not so that Europeans just love taxes, they are normal people in that sense, they do not love any taxes.But there is a relatively big acceptance that if you want to change habits in society then you have to make some political choices that benefit us all in the longer term.

So far the plan appears to be working, for Ireland at least.Using these taxes, combined with some austerity measures, Ireland has shrunk its deficit. In 2010, the Irish deficit was 32% of GDP, this year it’s only 8%.Environmental taxes are also applied to the sale of new cars. Consumers pay more taxes on a car that produces more emissions.

We know since 2008 when they changed the tax regime and people are very conscious of royal taxand the first question they ask when a person carries is how much is the tax per year?

Manufacturers also have responded by improving the emissions ratings of almost all models including luxury cars.

We are now seeing vehicles, this year, we are seeing CO2s that are well under 100 CO2s. Which was unheard of.

I’m pretty tired of spending 300 Euros a month on fuel.

Ian MacDonald recently bought an all-electric Nissan Leaf.

With the electric car, I’m down to spending maybe 20 euros a month on fuel. And everyone I mean, I espouse the benefits of it.

But new taxes also mean new hardship. For example, the price of gas has gone up. Even so, the European Union wants more member countries to enact more environmental taxes.They say that will be good—both for the environment and for the economy.

This is not a question of we will lose competitiveness if we embrace this, this is a way to secure our competitiveness in the future.

Source: nytimes.com

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