Water board tax to rise next year due to climate change and inflation
Water board taxes in the Netherlands will increase next year by several tens of euros, the Dutch Water Authorities (Unie van Waterschappen) reported on Monday. This increase is due to investments required due to climate change and inflation.
The water board tax is a levy that households and businesses have to pay for the cost of water management in their regions. This tax is levied by regional water authorities, or water boards (Waterschappen), which are responsible for managing the waterways, maintaining dikes and levees, and ensuring the quality and quantity of surface water.
Following a survey of the 21 water boards by the Dutch Water Authorities, it was determined that the water board tax would have to “increase considerably” next year. The primary reasons are the investments needed to mitigate the consequences of climate change and higher operational costs due to inflation.
A family owning a home will pay, on average, almost 50 euros more next year, while single-person households in rental homes will see an average increase of about 20 euros. Not only residents, but also farmers, businesses, and nature reserve owners will see their water board tax increase in 2024.
“With increasingly drier summers and, at the same time, extremely wet periods becoming more frequent, water management is increasingly a balancing act for water boards,” said Vincent Lokin, a board member of the Dutch Water Authorities. He noted that a lot of work is required to ensure dike safety, limit water shortages and nuisances, and guarantee water quality. “Because we do not want to postpone the problems to future generations, we invest heavily,” he explained.
In addition to these challenges, the water boards also face higher costs for goods and services. “So, it is inevitable that taxes will rise, no matter how annoying that is for our taxpayers,” Lokin said.
In the coming weeks, the water boards will decide on the final tax rates for next year. Most water boards will send their tax assessments around March 1, 2024.
The amount of the tax varies per water board, depending on different choices made by the boards and the characteristics of their respective areas. Factors such as altitude, urban or rural settings, the presence of vulnerable nature, and the number of dikes influence the water management tasks.