Border filling stations sue over tax increase

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Two filling stations in the border region filed a legal suit against the State of the Netherlands. They say that they were severely affected by the consequences of the tax increase which came in force early this year.

The two businesses are supported by the foundation Accijnsclaim Pomphouders. This branch club wants a judgement from the court on what it calls "the illegality of the tax increase". The filling stations are also claiming damages from the State. The case will appear in the court in the Hague on January 20th.

The foundation Accijnsclaim consists of Bovag, the association for filling stations Beta and a group of hundreds of independent border stations. According to the foundation, the State is making it impossible for filling stations in the border region to operate. "The State exposes them to unfair competition with service stations from neighboring countries", says the foundation.

The tax increase on diesel and LPG is controversial. According to filling station owners and employers, people flock across the border to refuel and do their shopping. This leads to bankruptcies among service stations and more unemployment.

According to the filling station industry, the tax increase had not led to more revenue for the Treasury as the government intended. In August Bovag published statistics showing that 200 million liters less diesel was sold in the first 6 months of this year than in the same period last year. According to State Secretary Eric Wiebes of Finance, those figures are incorrect and more money is flowing into the coffers.