1 Risø National Laboratory for Sustainable Energy, Technical University of Denmark2 Department of Management Engineering, Technical University of Denmark3 unknown
Environmental taxes imposed on households have been introduced in many countries. However, few countries have reached the level of environmental taxation that is seen in Denmark today, although many are considering shifting the tax burden towards theconsumption that is harming the environment. The total tax burden imposed on households in Denmark in the form of taxes on energy use of all kinds, water consumption and waste production, etc., is considerable. This paper analyses the individual taxes aswell as the combination of all these taxes and duties related to environmental concerns, including taxes on heating, transport fuels, electricity, water, waste, plastic bags, registration of cars, annual car use, pesticides, etc. The distributionaleffect of taxes is examined in relation to household income, socio-economic class, residential location and family status. The shifting of the tax structure from high marginal income tax to consumption-based taxes, especially environmental taxes, mighthave distributional impacts amongst income groups which have not been considered part of the tax policy. The taxes are compared with respect to distributional impact. Do the effects of the different taxes vary to such an extent that this should beconsidered when designing tax policies? The hypothesis is that some environmental taxes associated with luxury income are less regressive than the average envi-ronmental tax. The results suggest that in Denmark taxes on petrol and registration duties forcars are progressive, whereas most other environmental taxes are regressive, especially the green taxes on water, retail containers and CO2.