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The new tax likely to generate revenues of RON 700 M in 2013.
The emergency government ordinance that introduces the payment of an environment stamp tax when registering cars comes into force today. The environment stamp tax will replace the current auto tax. The introduction of the new tax will result in a 10-15 per cent hike in the registration tax paid for Euro 4 and Euro 3 vehicles. However, the sum to be paid will drop by 60 per cent for Euro 2 vehicles, by 80 per cent for Euro 1 vehicles and by 90 per cent for non-Euro vehicles. In what concerns Euro 5 technologies, the tax will remain similar to its current level. The environment stamp tax will not be paid for Euro 6, hybrid and electrical cars. The novelty is that the state will offer an eco-voucher worth EUR 2,500 for the buying of electrical cars. The environment stamp tax will be paid only once, during the car’s first registration in Romania, however it will not be paid in the case of civil transactions such as inheritance or partition. Environment Minister Rovana Plumb stated yesterday that it is estimated that revenues generated by the environment stamp tax will reach RON 700 M in 2013, while reimbursements of the old environment stamp tax are estimated at RON 400 M, Mediafax informs.
The funds thus generated will be used to finance environment projects such as infrastructure projects, sewage services, the cleaning of contaminated ponds and dams, renewable energy parks, the Green House and Clash for Clunkers programmes, Rovana Plumb added. The minister stated that the estimated sum for the reimbursements of the old environment stamp tax is “enormous,” but pointed out that the money will be paid back as the new tax is collected. On the other hand, the Environment Minister also announced that Euro 3 auto vehicles older than ten years will be included in the Cash for Clunkers programme starting this year, a programme that will start in April. The Environment Minister pointed out that the current goal is for the voucher offered in the aforementioned programme to stand at EUR 1,500, while the voucher offered for electrical cars to stand at EUR 2,000.
Rovana Plumb added that included in the Cash for Clunkers programme will be “only those auto vehicles that were owned by physical or juridical persons for over a year,” so that “the invasion of used, very old cars on the Romanian market is out of the question.” Just like the other auto taxes, the environment stamp tax will generate thousands of lawsuits. Lawyers state that the new environment stamp tax will not be a veritable environment tax, but “a veritable discriminatory tax” that should be calculated solely on the basis of real carbon dioxide emissions. “The new values are very high. They should be lowered by at least 30 per cent to match the Romanians’ purchasing power. On the other hand, eliminating its payment in the case of the re-sale of cars that date back prior to 2007 violates property rights and acts retroactively,” lawyer Marius Coltuc told curierulnational.ro. By far the most problematic stipulation is the one concerning the elimination of the ruling according to which the buyer will pay the environment stamp tax in case the seller has already obtained in court the reimbursement or waver of the tax on re-sale.