In many municipalities, unbeknownst to them, residents pay levies to municipalities in which they may never set foot. They do so via a municipal levy on encroachments in, on or above public land (precariobelasting) on conduits, a hidden tax that households pay through the regional network managers. Today, COELO (the University of Groningen’s Centre for Research on Local Government Economics) is publishing an interactive map to show people exactly which municipality (or municipalities) their taxes are going to, and which residents are paying towards amenities in their own municipality. The map is available on www.coelo.nl
Municipalities can charge a municipal levy on encroachments in, on or above public land for underground water, gas and electricity pipes and conduits. Drinking water companies charge their customers directly in the municipality levying the tax, but managers of the energy networks must divide the costs over all customers, even those who live in municipalities where there is no municipal levy on encroachments in, on or above public land on conduits.
The interactive maps developed by COELO show every municipality whose residents have to pay other municipalities this levy. They also show the municipalities that receive levies for amenities from residents in a different municipality. Residents of Ameland, Alphen aan den Rijn and Aalten, for example, pay levies in Heerenveen (see figure 1).
Residents of Capelle aan den IJssel, in another example, pay levies in Rotterdam, Dongeradeel and Veenendaal, even though the municipality itself does not charge a municipal levy on encroachments in, on or above public land (see figure 2).
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