High car fuel tax rate exposed by study

A leading motorists’ association has criticised the high car fuel taxation rate in Austria.Arbö announced today (Mon) that 57 per cent of the price for one litre of normal car fuel and 52 per cent of what drivers have to spend on a litre of diesel are pocketed by the finance ministry.The car club stressed these levels were well over the European union (EU) average rates. Arbö explained its investigations have shown that an average 55 per cent of the price of regular car fuel are handed over to the federal governments of the EU-27. It added the EU’s average taxation rate for diesel was just 49 per cent.Great Britain has the highest car petrol tax rates, according to Arbö, as 63 per cent of the price of regular petrol and 62 per cent of diesel are taxes.Arbö launched another attack on the Austrian government coalition about the issue. “Austria was in 13th but rose eight places in the EU ranking because of the recent tax increase,” the motorists association claimed.The Social Democrats (SPÖ) and the conservative People’s Party (ÖVP) angered many drivers in October when they announced their decision to raise the car fuel tax rates in 2011.The agreement means the tax on diesel is now six Eurocents higher (2010: 44.2 Eurocents) while the tax on regular car fuel was upped by 4.8 Eurocents from last year’s 34.7 Eurocents. The government explained it expects the reform to lead to an extra 536 million Euros in revenue.The coalition also increased the NoVA fee which applies for the purchase of new cars by 50 to 75 Euros depending on how eco-friendly the vehicles’ engines are.Arbö only recently claimed that motorists were challenged with the “second-worst avalanche of costs” last year when, according to the car club, expenses for driving and maintenance rose by four per cent compared to 2009.The club said the price for diesel fuel rose by 17 per cent from January to December of last year, while Eurosuper petrol was 13 per cent more expensive in the last month of 2010 than it was in the first month of the same year.One litre of diesel cost an average 0.717 Euros in 2002 before it jumped to 1.037 Euros in 2007 and 1.279 Euros the next year. The average price of diesel was 1.093 Euros last year, according to Arbö.In what has been regarded as an attempt to defuse the heated debate, People’s Party (ÖVP) Economy Minister Reinhold Mitterlehner introduced a law banning petrol stations from raising fuel prices whenever they liked.Arbö and rivalling car club ÖAMTC have criticised long criticised the law which allows petrol station managers to raise prices several times throughout the day as the number of customers is traditionally higher later in the day than in the morning.The new bylaw means petrol stations are allowed to increase their price levels compared to rates in the morning only once – at 12 midday.Federal statistics agency Statistik Austria meanwhile explained that the Austrian inflation rate would have been at a level of 1.6 per cent instead of the registered 2.3 per cent last month compared to December 2009 had there not been a strong surge in prices for car fuel and other mineral oil products.Research has however also shown that the average price for car petrol in Austria lies below rates in most other countries in Europe.