Nearly 24 billion euro in environmental taxes


In 2014, the Dutch government collected 23.9 billion euros in environmental taxes and levies. Yearly revenues have ranged between 23 and 24 billion euros over the past few years, Statistics Netherlands reports. Households paid 66 eurocents out of each euro of these revenues, with the remaining 34 eurocents paid by the private sector. Environmental taxes and levies made up 16.2 percent of total tax revenues. Dutch environmental taxes and levies are relatively high in comparison with other EU countries.

Environmental taxes and levies, 2014

Taxes mainly on vehicles, fuel and energy consumption

The Dutch government collected 19.4 billion euros in environmental taxes and 4.5 billion in environmental levies. The taxes are used towards the government’s general reserve, and are mainly linked to the ownership and use of cars or motorcycles as well as to energy consumption. Major items are the motor vehicle tax (5.4 billion), excise duties on fuel (7.9 billion) and energy taxes on natural gas and electricity (4.4 billion). Environmental levies are used to finance specific environmental targets such as waste collection levies, refuse collection fees and sewerage charges. A leading trend over the past few years is that the government has received less revenue from BPM (motor vehicle purchasing tax) and more from road tax. The share of environmental taxes and levies in total tax revenues has remained quite stable over the past twenty years.

Share of environmental taxes in total revenues from taxes and social contributions, 2013

Environmental taxes and levies high compared to other EU countries

Compared to other EU countries, environmental taxes and levies are relatively high in the Netherlands. In 2013, environmental  taxes made up 9 percent of total tax revenues including social contributions. The percentage was higher only in Greece, Croatia, Bulgaria en Slovenia. In France and Belgium on the other hand, environmental taxes constituted a relatively minor portion of total revenues from taxes and social contributions (4.5 percent). In all EU countries, the bulk of environmental taxes consists of energy taxes. These constitute even more than 90 percent in the Czech Republic, Lithuania and Luxembourg.

Environmental taxes relative to GDP, EU countries 2013

Within Europe, the Netherlands ranks fifth in terms of revenues from environmental taxes relative to the size of the economy (the GDP). The proportion was 3.3 percent in 2013 versus an average of 2.5 in the whole EU. In Denmark, revenues from environmental taxes relative to the GDP were highest with 4.3 percent, while Lithuania had the lowest with 1.6 percent. Aside from environmental taxes, the government also makes other contributions towards the environment such as environmental subsidies. There are no data for international comparison available on these.

Source: StatLine, Environmental taxes and fees; revenues by taxpayer