The Catalan government has announced that they will introduce three new environmental taxes in 2014, all coming into force on the 1st of April, aimed at raising 49.1 million euro from contributions made by large scale operations that affect the environment´s condition.

The first tax, which is likely to be the most controversial, will see commercial aircraft taxed for landing and taking off from Catalan airports. Considered amongst some of the most pollution causing elements that affect the planet, aircraft will be charged 3 euro per kilo of nitrogen oxide generated. However, in the first stage, this tax will only apply to areas deemed worthy of “special protection”, of which Barcelona´s El Prat is the only one likely to be affected. This alone though will raise 3.8 million euro annually.

Tax number 2 deals with thermonuclear power production which, according to the draft, aims at “taxing the impact and possible damage to the environment arising from the conduct of the activity”. This tax is set at 0.0018 euro per kilowatt hour, which will be charged in instalments, and will bring in 43.2 million euro per year.

The third tax is levied on industry, whereas air emissions of nitrogen oxide will be taxed at 45 euro per ton, sulphur dioxide 75 euro per ton and suspended particles and organic carbon 60 per ton. These are typical of certain industrial and combustion facilities such as oil refineries and cement factories. The maximum economic impact of this tax is 2.1 million per year from 2015.

Although it may seem like a logical move to increase tax from big businesses, history already tells us that neither airlines or power supply companies have ever carried this burden themselves, rather put additional fees onto end consumers, so only time will tell if the notion of taxing business really does pay off and eat into their profits, or if, once more, it is the man and woman in the streets who foots the bill.

Filed under: http://www.theleader.info/article/41943/

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