In 1999 Germany set a milestone in overcoming environmental problems by introducing eco-taxes. They should both strengthen the ecological conscience of the population and help to use energy more gently.
The following taxes currently apply under the term eco-tax:
Mineral oil tax (petrol and diesel fuel)
Fuel oil tax
When calculating the impact on the consumer, it must be taken into account that this eco tax is also charged with VAT. However, the eco-tax law also provides for a number of exceptions. Examples are:
a) the ecologically sensible reduction of eco taxes to 50% of the standard rate for local and long-distance public transport;
b) Electricity from water and wind power, solar energy, geothermal energy, landfill and sewage gas from biomass are completely freed. The same applies to combined heat and power systems with a high degree of efficiency and to combined heat and power plants;
c) users pay half the tax rate for night storage heaters;
d) In addition, special regulations apply to the manufacturing industry and agriculture. B. if the ecological tax to be raised by companies exceeds the relief for pension insurance by more than 20%
Efforts to achieve a uniform ecological tax policy in the European Community (EC) have only just begun.