Sewage charges considerably higher

After publication of this press release, an announcement including adjusted figures has been issued.

According to figures published by Statistics Netherlands based on municipal budget data, revenues from local taxes will rise by nearly 7 percent in 2007 relative to last year. This is mainly due to an increase in revenue from sewage charges and property tax (OZB) for owners.

Revenues from sewage charges rise by 12 percent

Revenues from sewage charges went up by almost 7 percent in 2007, totalling 1.1 billion euro. Almost every Dutch citizen has to pay sewage charges. In 2006, fourteen municipalities introduced sewage charges and this year the municipalities of Arnhem, Borsele, Goes and Leeuwarden will follow. Terneuzen is the only Dutch municipality not to impose sewage charges.

Extra money spent on sewer system improvements

Many municipalities use sewage charge revenues to connect property situated on the outskirts to the sewer system and to fund overdue maintenance. Separate discharge of rainwater to prevent flooding of the sewer system after heavy rainfall also requires extra investments. Several municipalities anticipate extra costs to deal with problems related to groundwater.

Property tax for owners 6 percent up

Revenue from property tax for owners increases by 6 percent to reach 2.2 billion euro. A number of average-sized municipalities have raised the OZB rate to the legal maximum. OZB  for owners of non-residential property hardly changes. Abolition of OZB for occupants of dwellings in 2006 and maximisation of OZB rates enable municipal authorities to cover the mounting costs of sewer system improvements and water treatment.

Office fees and building permits noticeably higher

Revenues from office fees and building permits increase by 12 percent. Higher fees will be imposed to obtain the new passport and driving licence. The increase in revenue from building permits is caused by stepped-up building activities in a large number of municipalities.