Chinese authorities may impose a vehicle emission tax by 2010, an officer of the State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA) recently revealed. The plan has caused much tension among Chinese car owners.
The Ministry of Finance, State Administration of Taxation and State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA) are studying the possibility of formulating some emission tax policies, according to Yang Chaofei, head of the policy department under SEPA.
Chinese car-owners may have to pay taxes for their exhaust emissions. The emission tax would be levied on end consumers, making it different from a consumption tax. Pertinent official departments are doing research and the policies might be worked out within the coming three years.
Much dispute followed the news report of a possible emission tax although the details have not been finalized. There are pros and cons regarding the upcoming taxation.
It is environmentally friendly to levy the emission tax, but car-owners feel doubtful about these new policies. "The motor vehicles offered for sale should be up to standard in terms of exhaust emissions. If this is the case, then why do we have to pay an emission tax?" a netizen asked in his post.
Some people consider the emission tax understandable, but they are worried whether the tax could be used for environmental protection.
Many car owners consider the emission tax as reasonable in light of government controls and social justice. But they also think that the government should also pay attention to the rapid rise in expenses to run a car in recent years. It is necessary to work out reasonable emission tax standards or to reduce other taxes and charges appropriately, said some car-owners in Hangzhou from Zhejiang Province.
A car owner in China now has to pay a compulsory vehicle liability insurance, a motor vehicle tax, a road maintenance fee as well as a commercial car insurance every year. Oil price hikes have also increased the expenditure of car owners.
(China.org.cn by Yang Xi, December 7, 2007)