The nitrogen mineral fertilizer tax in Sweden

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Sweden’s tax on mineral fertilizers had been in place for 25 years when it was suddenly revoked in 2009 in response to the financial crisis. Initially it targeted both nitrogen and phosphorus, but cadmium present in phosphorus replaced the latter taxation base after the first ten years. The tax rate for nitrogen set at SEK 1.80 (EUR 0.18) per kg N was relatively modest, while the tax rate for cadmium at SEK 30 (EUR 3) per gram was more significant.
Two recent analyses have been able to disentangle impacts of the tax with advanced methods, finding a net reduction in nitrogen leaching of about 6%, corresponding annually to about 10,000 tonnes of N. The cadmium tax component has previously been found to have been effective.
The fertilizer tax was introduced initially to complement a price regulation charge on fertilizers that generated revenues for export subsidies to farmers. The latter was abandoned in anticipation of EU membership, whereby farmers had to accept a new revenue recycling mechanism linked to environmental measures, and without full compensation
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCapacity building, programmatic development and communication in the field of environmental taxation and budgetary reform
EditorsPatrick ten Brink, Emma Watson
Number of pages9
Place of publicationBruxelles
PublisherEuropean Union
Publication yearDec 2017
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2017

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