Road Tax Would Encumber Exports, Says Economy Minister ({{commentsTotal}})

Source: Photo: Postimees/Scanpix

Minister of Economic Affairs Juhan Parts said the government is hesitant to instate a road tax because the amount of revenue collected would be relatively small and the policy could harm exports.

The European Commission has been a proponent of tolls and debate over the issue has started in Estonia, including in the form of a conference on the topic at the Tallinn University of Technology last week, reported Äripäev.

"In establishing a road toll in Estonia, the policy, in accordance with European Commission regulation, would be extended to all transporters uniformly. As a result, according to our study from three years ago, the state's road administration costs would decrease 90 percent, but these costs would be put on the shoulders of Estonian transport companies - they would foot the bill and that would raise the price of Estonian exports," Parts said.

"Nor would the potential revenues be significant - about 20 million euros per year. In order to earn substantial revenue, we would need to raise the toll especially high," Parts said.

The Baltic director of the transport company DSV, Jaan Lepp, said he completely opposed a road tax.

"It would not bring much more fairness to our roads. The amount of money that could be collected from the foreign transporter would be incomparably smaller than that which the Estonian transporters would begin paying," he said.