Spain is set to increase tax rebates for those companies that invest in the environment. This is the latest Spanish measure to match those already made in the automotive sector.
The Spanish Parliament has voted to double the tax rebate offered to companies for environmental spending. The decision, which received cross-party support, will mean the existing 10% rebate will be increased to 20%.
The draft law also calls for the rebate to be raised to 30% for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). This change will include all energy-saving and efficiency measures being reclassified as environmental spending. Although the amendment still has to be passed formally into law, the consensus shown by all parties on this issue should hasten its adoption.
Over the past decade, Spain has introduced a series of environmental-taxation measures relating to industry and motorists. These taxes have significantly reduced both energy use and emissions. Moreover, they have been an economic benefit for the state; particularly as such additional funds can be channelled back into protecting the environment.
Spain’s green taxation of car owners has reduced emissions, and given people the incentive to purchase greener cars with lower emission levels. One such scheme, introduced in January 2008, rewards those who chose to purchase more environmentally friendly cars, by charging a lower registration tax when a car is bought.
The revised system calculates the amount of tax based on the CO2 emissions of the vehicle. Prior to the introduction of this scheme, there was a flat rate of 7% for all cars under 1.6 litres (petrol) and 2.0 litres (diesel).
In contrast, the green tax now considers all cars with emissions under 120 CO2 g/km exempt from such a charge. Cars with between 121 and 161 CO2 g/km pay 4.75%, while those with between 161 and 200 CO2 g/km pay 9.75%. The top bracket – those with over 201 CO2 g/km – must pay 14.75%.
To further development of eco-friendly cars, the Spanish government recently proposed a short-term scheme to supply subsidised loans to manufacturers investing in low-pollution vehicles. Such vehicles should meet defined emission standards, such as Euro 6, or go beyond EU environmental legislation. The European Commission approved this proposal on 30 March 2009. “This will allow important investments for the future low-carbon economy, which could have been put on hold due to the financial and economic crisis,” says European Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes. The Commission approved similar state aid schemes in February 2009 for both the UK and France.
‘State aid: Commission approves Spanish temporary scheme to support production of green cars’ (European Commission Press Release):