Editorial: the Estonian and the Car

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Debates around how to tax company cars doing private rides stirs passions and seems endless. How do we cut the red tape while arriving at some transparency? The measures being proposed make matters no better. 

«In Estonia, cars is the national topic, actual at weddings and funerals,» the finance minister Sven Sester has publicly jested. Coming from the Soviet era when cars were for the select few, we still seem to link them with luxury and not life as usual.  

Till today, an overall car tax has remained a taboo. The more eagerly we argue about the company cars – under tax incentives, how do we separate the private trips which is nowadays not always easy.

For many an entrepreneur, a car is essentially an office o the wheels. It’s really been a bother to try and keep some kind of a trip diary. Now the state wants to label company cars with stickers so as to shame those who take these to a beach, say.

But that means heaps of bureaucracy with issuing the stickers and arranging the surveillance. And the businessmen think the stickers may also go to private cars.

And while the ministry thinks to base taxation on kilowatts, dealers say CO2 makes more sense – seeing that electric vehicles which are cleaner yet the kilowatts higher.  

Thankfully, the debate is still open. Whatever we do, let us spare the small businesses – often damaged with stuff like that – as to accuse them in thirsting after luxury is unjust indeed.  

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