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Brussels-Capital Region one step closer to implementing SmartMove toll system

Illustration picture shows traffic jam near the Leopold II road tunnel, in Brussels, Monday 27 April 2020. (BELGA PHOTO THIERRY ROGE)
10:54 16/10/2020

A reform of car taxation policy in Brussels has taken a step closer to implementation, according to a report based on internal documents seen by the newspaper L'Echo.

The SmartMove toll system, developed by local government offices Brussels Environment and Brussels Taxation, has yet to be rubber-stamped but in all likelihood all roads in the Brussels-Capital Region will be subject to a fixed toll per car from 2022. This fixed toll will be supplemented by an additional charge per kilometre.

Estimates suggest that the system could inject half a billion euros per year into the city’s coffers. excluding operating costs and without taking into account the abolition of the circulation and traffic taxes, which currently bring in nearly €200 million per year.

According to the report in L'Echo, the toll’s flat rate will be €1 during rush hour (from 7.00 to 10.00 and from 15.00 to 19.00), and 50 cents during off-peak hours (between 10.00 and 15.00). This amount is then multiplied by a factor depending on the power of the car, described as fiscal horsepower (fiscal hp). This is calculated by a mathematical formula based on cylinder dimensions, meaning larger cars will incur larger fees.

For example, if your car is calculated at 20 fiscal hp or above, the multiplication becomes six, the highest rate. This is equivalent to €6 fixed tax during peak hours. For those who drive an average car, the rate becomes times two or three. In addition to the flat rate, there will be a surcharge of 18 cents per kilometre during rush hour and nine cents during off-peak hours. In the weekend and between 19.00 and 7.00, it will be free of charge.

There will be an alternative of day passes for day-trippers, people who do not come to Brussels very often or people who, for reasons of privacy, prefer not to share data via a smartphone or a GPS box. The price of such a day pass would range from €10 to €20.

SmartMove will operate through two technological systems: a mobile app and automtic number-plate recognition (ANPR). The app would be used to record distances travelled as well as to manage the administrative aspect of the system: registering a vehicle, paying the tax, etc. The ANPR smart cameras would primarily perform a control function.

The Brussels government will decide in the coming days or weeks whether or not to give the green light to the SmartMove project.

Written by Nick Amies

Comments

Frank Lee

Fantastic, and so simple as well to figure out. I bet nothing ever will go wrong!

Oct 16, 2020 14:39
Anon3

This is unbelievable. So every trip to a local supermarket will be increased by several Euros? This is what happens when unqualified but oh so greedy, power-hungry politicians are handed the authority to do as they please. No other region is acting as insanely and irresponsibly as Brussels, but I guess that's not really anything new.

Oct 17, 2020 11:41
danbruylandt

Years ago it was the extra charge for parking: stealing from the motorist on top of road tax.
Now it's this so-called smart move project: more money to be squeezed from the motorist's pocket, on top of road tax and the ─ blatantly unfair ─ parking charges.
And all the time we're losing traffic lanes, parking spaces and even complete streets!
Which suddenly reminds me: last week it was so cold I saw a polutician with his hands in his OWN pockets...

Oct 19, 2020 22:19
John P

This has nothing to do with the environment or the residents. They know they will lose money on this nonsense.
That is why they have been making street changes (direction, blocking etc) which obscenely increase the distance a car has to travel (zig-zaging) to get form point A to point B; just in an attempt ot reduce the upcoming financial losses.
The target is 2fold.
1. the little guy's car must be kicked out of the city so that the streets may (once again) belong to their rightfull usurpers: the rich, the government officials, international vip, other dignitaries etc, because they will be the only ones able to afford the cost of everyday and distance-free use.
2. your private mobility data.
You will be under constant surveillance AND your data will be monetized (Sold to the highest bidders).
Look at how blatantly they stump on our right to privacy by telling us that it will cost us 5200 euro a year to drive around the city without being watched meter by meter, under the pretext of paying the "SmartMove". Telling us that we have to pay a heavy cost to preserve a bit of our rightful privacy is outright illegal, unethical and quite frankly psychotic. En plus, it sure sounds like straight forward blackmail.
We have all paid for these streets (for generations) and now they are using them as a weapon against our private lives and our finances.
This should be stopped and the instigators questioned on their motives.

Oct 20, 2020 22:31