This year, Dutch households are expected to pay a total of 11.3 billion euros in municipal taxes. That is 4.4 percent more than last year, when the municipalities raised 10.8 billion euros in the taxes, reports the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS)
Translated by Adriana Dancu
Waste tax (afvalstoffenheffing) and cleaning duties for non-Gemeente waste (reinigingsrechten) in particular has risen sharply, by an average of 10 percent, to 2.2 billion euros, reports NOS. That is the largest increase in 26 years. According to chief economist of CBS Peter Hein van Mulligen, this is due to two things: “The costs of waste treatment and separation of waste have increased, but the revenues from the sale of recycled glass, plastic or steel have decreased.”
Property tax is also on the rise
Households are expected to pay nearly 6 percent more than last year (about 4.6 billion euros), on property tax (onroerendezaakbelasting, OZB), the largest municipal tax in terms of take. That is the largest increase since 2004.
Municipalities can freely spend this money on, for example, libraries or sports facilities. It is expected that some municipalities will partly use the higher property tax to absorb shortages in business tax take, which have been exacerbated by the Coronavirus. The property tax is determined by the WOZ law (value of real estate), the number of properties and by in-built rises , which are determined by the municipal council itself.
Even though municipalities do not have to increase the property tax and can disconnect it from the increased property value, that does not happen in practice, says Van Mulligen: “The costs for maintenance of sports fields, for example, are also going up. Most things are becoming more expensive, so the municipalities are also increasing the taxes.”
Revenues from sewage charges will increase this year by 2.6 percent to 1.7 billion euros. This is slightly higher than the average annual increase of 1.9 percent over the past five years. Van Mulligen attributes the increase in these costs partly to climate change: “Municipalities must continue to invest in better water treatment in order to absorb the flooding caused by extreme rainfall.”
Vacation in your own country
Municipalities also think they can collect more in tourist taxes this year. Nearly 90 percent of municipalities with a tourist tax foresee an equal or higher yield for 2021 than they managed in 2020, even before the outbreak of the Coronavirus crisis. Amsterdam is the only municipality that is likely to see these revenues fall: the city expects to receive 79 million euros less tourist tax in the coming year.
Why do many other municipalities expect an increase in yield? “This may have to do with the fact that municipalities expect that more Dutch people will also go on holiday in their own country this year, which means that the revenue from the tourist tax is also expected to increase,” says Van Mulligen.
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