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