The system of taxes for car owners will be modified early next year by replacing the current first registration tax with an environment tax calculated on the basis of the car’s pollution level, Premier Victor Ponta announced. The tax however will not be higher than the car’s price. “Unfortunately, because of the way it was regulated the first registration tax was not an environment protection tax as it should have been, and was built mistakenly every time, so that we were sanctioned by the European Commission and the worst thing is that people paid sums they should not have paid, they go to court, win, and the state has to give their money back,” Ponta stated at the Bucharest Auto Show. He pointed out that a workgroup formed at the level of the Finance and Environment Ministries is currently analyzing the options for a new system of taxes that would encourage the purchase of new and non-polluting cars and that the European Commission’s approval was requested so that the new tax can be introduced on January 1, 2013. Approximately 80,600 court cases for the reimbursement of the auto pollution taxes paid were opened in 2011-2012. At the same time, the Premier added that the government could limit the number of vouchers offered in exchange for scrap cars to a single voucher per car, compared to the three currently offered, a voucher that could be used only by the owner of the scrap car and not by intermediaries. “In France, Germany and other countries, the owner of the scrap car receives a voucher he uses in order to buy a new car. In Romania a kind of black market for vouchers has appeared and things have to be set right,” Ponta said.