Danish Experiences with Green Tax Reforms and Lessons Learned. DIS US students

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1 Danish Experiences with Green Tax Reforms and Lessons Learned DIS US students Søren Dyck-Madsen The Danish Ecological Council DIS US students

2 Why Green the Tax System Tax the Bad s not the Good s! Tax what you burn, not what you earn Doing the right things must pay off Ethics alone will not change behavior Taxation must be a driver of innovation a green market will be a combination of strict standards and regulations and environmentally better price signals Resources will be scarce and expensive - Taxation will incentivize caution and reuse etc. DIS US students

3 Environmental Taxes for Energy, Transport and Pollution/Resources Revenue in % of GDP Denmark Energy Transport Pollution / Ressources Source: Taxation trends in the EU, Eurostat 2007 DIS US students

4 Danish Green Taxes on Industry are Comparable with other EU Countries Industry Denmark Households Source: Taxation trends in the EU, Eurostat 2002 and own Calculations DIS US students

5 Denmark has the Largest Variety of Green taxes in the EU Source: EEA, 2006 DIS US students

6 Different types of Green Taxes Some Green Taxes are meant for reduced revenue Others do provide incentive for a clear decreased use but still form a solid tax base When those forming a solid tax base really work, you have to find new ways The decision to phase out the use of coal in Denmark creates a substantial loss of tax revenue Therefore we see a new Security of Energy Supply Tax for all fuels incl. biomass used for heating purposes

7 Danish Green Taxes 2009 in mio. Euros Energy Taxes Coal 312 Electricity 1,383 Natural Gas 579 Oil products 1,128 Petrol 1,154 Energy related taxes altogether 4,648 Danish EPA: Energy and Carbon Taxes in Denmark has reduced the emissions of GHG / CO2 by around 10 %

8 Danish Green Taxes 2009 in mio. Euros Motor Vehicles Taxation Annual Car owner tax 1,478 Car registration tax 2,046 Insurance levy 272 Road Use 58 Motor Vehicles Taxation altogether 3,853 Very high Danish registration tax gives good possibilities for greening the cars and for introducing electrical cars

9 Danish Green Taxes 2009 in mio. Euros Environmental Taxes CO2 812 Sulphur SO2 11 Packaging 141 CFC s 7 Chlorinated Solvents 0 Pesticides 64 Certain Growth Promoters 0

10 Danish Green Taxes 2009 in mio. Euros Environmental Taxes CO2 812 Sulphur SO2 11 Packaging 141 CFC s 7 Chlorinated Solvents 0 Pesticides 64 Certain Growth Promoters 0 Tax on Plastic Bags are doubled by supermarkets people think it is the cost and pays, and the supermarkets earn millions from the tax

11 Danish Green Taxes 2009 in mio. Euros Environmental Taxes CO2 812 Sulphur SO2 11 Packaging 141 CFC s 7 Chlorinated Solvents 0 Pesticides 64 Certain Growth Promoters 0 If you can t ban them tax them and make the alternatives economical attractive

12 Danish Green Taxes 2009 in mio. Euros Environmental Taxes CO2 812 Sulphur SO2 11 Packaging 141 CFC s 7 Chlorinated Solvents 0 Pesticides 64 Certain Growth Promoters 0 Almost phased out other possibilities like soap is used instead

13 Danish Green Taxes 2009 in mio. Euros Environmental Taxes CO2 812 Sulphur SO2 11 Packaging 141 CFC s 7 Chlorinated Solvents 0 Pesticides 64 Certain Growth Promoters 0 Voluntary agreement not to use them but taxation possibility is kept as security

14 Danish Green Taxes 2009 in mio. Euros Environmental Taxes Waste 37 Resources 23 Sewage Water 28 Piped Water 185 Nikkel/Cadmium Batteries 1 PVC and Phatalates 4 Nitrogen 3 Taxation around 10 % of consumer costs for water and waste water treatment but 100 % of water spills more than 8 %

15 Danish Green Taxes 2009 in mio. Euros Environmental Taxes Mineral Phosphorus 5 NOx 30 Environmental taxes all together 1,351 Plus: Tax on value added by planning changed land use from agricultural purposes to urban purposes not defined as green tax

16 New Danish Green Taxes - Fat Tax on Fat and sugar Has been working well in reducing the consumption of e.g. butter For meat it is not differentiated according to the fatty parts of the animals creating much resistance For other purposes such as cookies it is seen as negative on Danish competitiveness Has created more border trade in Germany The tax is going to be abolished again

17 New Danish Green Taxes - NOx Tax on NOx Denmark has had a tax on NOx for some time Denmark has problems to reduce the emission of NOx to EU standards Could have been done by restricting cars in city centers The NOx tax was 5-doubled hitting some industries hard thus triggering compensations A bad way of doing things = poison for further taxes

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23 The Danish Tax Shift in 1990 s Left Axis Income Taxes in % of GDP Right Axis Green Taxes in % of GDP

24 There are Always Two Sides of a Tax Shift Revenue neutral and social balanced Green Tax shifts involves a two side approach Front side is the actual increasing of green taxes on energy and other things, that we do not want to be overused Flip side is the decrease of taxes on work and the complimentary increase of social allowances etc. to balance the increased costs for e.g. energy

25 Green Taxation was part of the 2001 Danish Election for Parliament The Social Democratic government did the tax shift from 1994 to 1998, and even did more than to neutralize the social impacts from the green taxes But they forgot to tell people about the positive flip side This made it easy for the Right wing opposition to take forward a campaign saying that green taxes will harm the poorest the hardest If you forget or deliberately refuse to take the flip side into consideration - calculating only the front side will give a social unbalanced result

26 Green Taxation was part of the 2001 Danish Election for Parliament The Social Democratic Party lost the election which forced the now right wing government to introduce a tax freeze because they in the election campaign had promised that no green taxes would increase in order to defeat the Social Democrats This lead to a decrease in Danish Green taxes for 8 years and the trend is just changed last year

27 Level of Danish Environmental Taxes Green Taxes in % of GDP Danish Green Tax Reform Danish Tax Freeze Source: Danish Ministry of Taxation DIS US students

28 Total Revenue in % of GDP Level of Danish Environmental Taxes Change of Government 5 All Green Taxes 4 Other Green Taxes Green Tax Reform Car Registration Tax Source: Danish Ministry of Taxation DIS US students Tax Freeze * 2010*

29 Lessons learned from the Tax Shift Both sides of the tax shift need massive information especially the more invisible flip side Information depends on the possibilities to use the tax system for social balancing reasons If you just need more taxes, you must explain that introducing green taxes makes it possible not to increase other taxes Loosers will cry out - you must show the future winners But you still have to actively secure the social balance and tell people how you do that

30

31 Important to note: Green taxes are better social balanced than VAT Green taxes on cars and car use are social balanced The documented double dividend obtained by the correct use of the revenue - will make green tax shifts beneficial for the overall national economy Green tax shifts also promotes energy efficiency, less pollution and less use of resources Green tax shifts create jobs You can reduce your tax by consuming green

32 A proposal for a green tax shift Road Pricing 667 Removal of Commuter tax relief 360 Company cars private and taxis 80 Increase tax on petrol and diesel 567 Tax on travel by ferry and airplane 107 Increased tax on pesticides 53

33 A proposal for a green tax shift Tax on non-biogassed manure 52 General energy tax on business 720 Increased energy tax on households 272 Tax on product with bad energy performance 4 All in all 2,880 To be used for a green tax reform 2,520

34 Danes Support a Green Tax Shift Don't know 17% Yes 47% No 36% Question: Do you Support Increasing Green Taxes if a Similar Reduction in Income Taxes are done? Source: Climate Opinion Survey - June 2010 by CONCITO

35 Thank you for your attention

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