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Parliament approves utilities tax

Parliament on Tuesday approved a bill that will levy a HUF 125-per-meter tax on utility lines from the start of next year.

The bill, approved in an urgent procedure, levies the utilities tax on the owners of water, sewage, gas, district heating, electricity and telecommunications lines, as well as the operators of state- or local council owned utilities companies. The state and local governments, as well as gas and electricity networks owned by transmission system operators will be exempt from the tax.

Telecommunications companies will get a discount on the tax, depending on the size of their networks.

The tax is payable by the owners of utilities companies on the first day of the calendar year in proportion to their ownership stakes. Discontinuing the use of any utilities lines will not affect the tax base.

The tax is to be paid in two equal installments, by March 20 and September 20, each year.

The tax was originally set at HUF 100 per meter, but the amount was raised before the final vote to ensure it generates the targeted revenue of HUF 30 billion.