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Liechtenstein Set For CO2 Tax Rise In 2014

by Ulrika Lomas, Lowtax.net, Brussels
04 December, 2013

The Liechtenstein Government has confirmed that its revised Carbon Dioxide Act and accompanying Carbon Dioxide Ordinance entered into force in the Principality on December 1, 2013, emphasizing that the legislation provides crucially for an extension of the carbon dioxide tax imposed on fossil fuels, such as heating oil and natural gas.

Furthermore, the revised legislation provides for a rise in the carbon dioxide levy from January 1, 2014, from CHF36 (USD39) currently to CHF60, the Government noted. The rise will increase the tax on heating oil next year, from 9.5 cents per liter to 16 cents per liter, and will raise the levy on natural gas from 7 cents to 12 cents per cubic meter.

Defending the measure, the Liechtenstein Government emphasized that the carbon dioxide tax is designed to have an environmental steering effect. The levy is intended to "motivate" consumers of heating oil and natural gas to adopt a more efficient use of fossil fuels, and to encourage consumers to move to renewable sources of energy. In contrast to other taxes, income derived from the carbon dioxide levy on industry is mainly redistributed back to Liechtenstein industry, the Government explained.

Furthermore, some businesses in the Principality have the option of requesting exemption from the carbon dioxide tax, provided that they enter into a binding agreement to improve their energy efficiency and thereby reduce their energy consumption levels. This is in accordance with appendix four of the Carbon Dioxide Ordinance.

Insisting that in every company there is the latent potential to lower energy consumption, the Liechtenstein Government announced that the deadline for requesting exemption from the CO2 levy (for 2013 and 2014) is March 1, 2014.

By amending the Principality's Carbon Dioxide Act, the Government has fulfilled its obligation to transpose Swiss federal legislation on environmental levies into national law, in accordance with the bilateral treaty between the two countries. Switzerland recently revised its Carbon Dioxide Act, extending the levy until 2020 and raising it in 2014.

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