Road transport is heavily taxed in most European countries. France is no exception. Just as in many other countries a debate is raging there about whether or not road users are paying a "fair share" for the costs they impose on the nation or at least on the Treasury. It is common wisdom in France that road use is subsidized, but this assertion is usually not based on fact, as if no data were available. However, cost allocation studies have been carried out, tax revenues have been reported, and officially published data give almost all the necessary elements to settle the debate. In my opinion, the confusion comes from the way taxes are accounted for. This study discusses the premises under which taxes paid by road users should or should not be considered as specific to the road sector and, thus, put in balance with public expenditure also specific to the road sector. It then proposes an account of this balance and concludes that: (i) as a whole, the road sector is amply a net contributor to the Treasury, (ii) the specific taxes and fees paid by trucks cover the public expenditure on road maintenance and operation and almost all investment expenditure that could be allocated to trucks, and (iii) cars and light commercial vehicles pay a disproportionate share of the total costs that, alone, outweighs all public expenditure on the road sector.


  • English

Media Info

  • Features: References; Tables;
  • Pagination: p. 16-22
  • Monograph Title: Transportation finance, training, strategic management, and economic analysis
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00714958
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 0309061628
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Dec 21 1995 12:00AM