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Taxes and wheels


Campaigners call for more cash for roads


By Urs Geiser



Voters are likely to have the final say on plans to review the funding of Switzerland’s road transport infrastructure. A committee and the cabinet have put forward separate proposals.

Representatives from the road transport industry as well as centre-right and rightwing political parties on Monday handed in more than 114,000 signatures to force a nationwide vote on their initiative.

It calls for more funds to finance road transport, notably through the entire revenue from fuel tax. Currently 50% of the tax goes towards road transport infrastructure, the other half is destined for general state coffers.

In 2012, fuel tax revenue amounted to CHF3 billion ($3.4 billion).

The initiative also wants to give voters a greater say in road transport taxes and fees. No date for the vote has been set.

Cabinet counters

Last month the cabinet presented its proposal to counter the initiative and set up a special fund to finance the infrastructure of motorways and urban road transport.

Under the draft constitutional amendment, the fund is to be fed by taxes on conventional and electrical cars as well as an increase in fuel tax.

The government says the new scheme is part of a long-term strategy to finance the ageing road infrastructure, which has been subjected to steadily growing traffic. At the same time revenue from fuel tax has decreased as a result of energy-efficient cars.

The government’s proposal was sent to political parties, organisations, cantons and pressure groups for consultation before a bill is presented to parliament ahead of a nationwide vote.

By Urs Geiser, swissinfo.ch



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