Toll fees victory might backfire, more projects instead
As Peer Gynt says in the play by Henrik Ibsen: ”Though I hammer or am hammered,-still we must have jammer (misery)”. The Government is to introduce tax deductions for toll fees. This can result in even more toll road projects popping up like toadstools, according to the Department of Transport Economics and NHO.
«When the Progress Party (Frp) achieved support for the promise of tax deductions for toll fees, that was an important victory for the party. The deductions can, however, lead to unintended side effects,» writes Klassekampen.
“The local willingness to implement toll projects can be even larger if local commuters receive a tax deduction from the state,” Deputy Director of the Transport Economics Institute (TØI), Kjell Werner Johansen, believes.
Johansen believes that the effect can be reinforced by the fact that the Government has already increased the state’s share of funding for toll projects. It, thereby, shoulders more of the bill. Johansen is supported by Chief Economist of NHO, Øystein Dørum. NHO is the Main Organisation of Norwegian Businesses.
“It’s pretty obvious. When a municipality considers implementing a toll project, the willingness to accept it – clearly depends on the price tag for the local community. With tax deductions, that cost becomes less,” Dørum concurs.
Former Cabinet Minister and Fiscal Spokesperson of the Progress Party, Bård Hoksrud, rejects the criticism and says there is a limit to what people are willing to pay in toll fees.
“The Progress Party wants to build a lot of more road – and the Norwegian state to shoulder a larger share of the funding. This is, therefore, a very good measure,” Hoksrud asserts.
© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today