Tuesday, 3 February 2015 - 17:16
Gas station owners lose case to lower fuel tax
Two fuel stations near the Dutch borders lost their lawsuit against the Netherlands over a hike in fuel taxes. The judge on Friday rejected their petition for the Dutch government to pay an advance on damages they suffer as a result from climbing taxes, sending their customers to cheaper filling stations across the border. The companies filed suit against the Netherlands last December. The businesses argued that they were severely affected by the tax increase implemented in early 2014. The two businesses were supported by the foundation Accijnsclaim Pomphouders, who called for a judgement from the court on a phenomenon it called "the illegality of the tax increase". While an increase in the excise duty on diesel and LPG is likely to be a contributor to the stations' poor economic state, the court did not decide to what extent it was a factor. Furthermore, the stations faced declining results a early as 2013, prior to the imposition of excise duties. The judgement did not assess whether the country acted unlawfully by increasing the tax on fuel. The court stated that there may be contributing factors to the decrease in revenue to the border service station, such as economic stagnation, increasing fleet efficiency, and population decrease in the border regions. The stations say that higher excise duties are herding customers to Belgium and Germany. The stations will now decide on their next steps.