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Coalition unlikely to agree on car tax before year's end

Cars in Tallinn.
Cars in Tallinn.

Coalition forces still disagree on ways of mitigating the effects of Estonia's incoming cat tax. Eesti 200 MP Toomas Uibo believes no agreement will be reached this year.

Even though Minister of Finance Mart Võrklaev (Reform) presented the government with the latest version of draft legislation to introduce a car tax in late November, the document has not gotten past the coalition council and working groups as the partners disagree on several aspects.

Junior partner Eesti 200 is after tax breaks for large families, people with disabilities and vehicles temporarily deleted from the register. The Social Democrats (SDE) want the latter two exceptions introduced.

Meanwhile, the Reform Party would mitigate the effect of the new tax by hiking the severe disability benefit from €50 to €100 for adults and from €30 to €270 for minors.

SDE and Eesti 200 support the hike but believe it should not be tied to the car tax.

Maarja Krais-Leosk, executive manager of the Estonian Chamber of People with Disabilities, said that while the association first proposed a tax exception, it now finds the benefits hike to be a more fitting solution.

"Looking at data, we see that more than half of households with people with disabilities do not own a vehicle and could share in the universal benefits hike.

Estonia has 119,000 registered people with disabilities of whom 12,000 have severe and 61,000 serious disabilities.

Võrklaev said that hardly any progress has been made since November.

While SDE leader Lauri Läänemets suggested the government could send the bill to the Riigikogu without an agreement, Eesti 200's Toomas Uibo believes that would constitute bad practice. The MP said that while Eesti 200 is prepared to try and find a solution this year, it is beginning to look like the debate will have to continue in January.

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Editor: Marcus Turovski

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