The life and death of the Dutch groundwater tax

Marianne Schuerhoff, Hans-Peter Weikard and David Zetland have published their paper «The life and death of the Dutch Groundwater tax» in Water Policy. In the framework of our UNESCO-related groundwater governance meeting in March 2013 we could offer you a pre-release of the paper already. The authors examine the Dutch national groundwater tax — a “win-win-win green tax” that promised to simultaneously provide revenue to government, reduce the relative burden of other taxes on productive behaviour (e.g., income tax), and improve environmental outcomes.

They found that the Dutch national groundwater tax generated revenue without having a noticeable impact on production incentives or environmental health. Although the Dutch national groundwater tax is often cited as an example of environmental economics in action, it was neither designed, implemented nor operated in accordance with environmental goals. In many ways, the Dutch national groundwater tax was just another source of revenue — and one that bothered special interests. The Dutch government revoked the "inefficient" GWT on 31 December 2011.


acrobat icon The life and death of the Dutch Groundwater tax