Households might have to pay an average 4,950 yen per year if a planned environment tax is introduced in fiscal 2005, according to a government draft released Thursday.
The tax is aimed at combating global warming and would be the equivalent of a 2 percent increase in gasoline prices. The Environment Ministry said the tax would boost the nation’s annual tax revenues by about 1.01 trillion yen.
The planned Environment Tax is intended to tax fossil fuels, depending on the carbon content. The ministry submitted the draft to a subcommittee of the Central Environment Council.
The estimated tax amount includes 3,600 yen in tax per ton of carbon as well as other costs such as the average amount of gasoline used by households in Japan and the country’s economic growth.
The ministry might put revenue from the tax into the general-account budget instead of treating it as a new special-account budget. The revenue would be used to implement policies to achieve the requirements of the Kyoto Protocol.
The 1997 protocol requires industrialized countries to slash their greenhouse-gas emissions from 1990 levels by an average of 5.2 percent between 2008 and 2012.
With the introduction of the new tax, subsidies and other policies, Japan will be able to accomplish its reduction target of 6 percent, the ministry said.
The ministry wants the tax next fiscal year, but many big companies are opposed to the idea because they believe it would take away Japanese industries’ competitive edge.
The Japan Business Federation (Nippon Keidanren), the nation’s most influential business lobby, also opposes the new tax.
But a ministry survey released Thursday showed that 61.0 percent of those polled are in favor of the environment tax, while 33.5 percent were against it.
The survey of 1,213 people aged 20 or older was conducted by telephone on Saturday and Sunday.
The government has said it will ask households and companies to pay the tax in accordance with the amount of gasoline, gas and other types of fossil fuels they use.
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