DBPapers
DOI: 10.5593/SGEM2016/B53/S21.003

ANALYSIS OF ENVIRONMENTAL TAX REVENUES IN THE BALTIC STATES

I.Leibus, G.Mazure
Wednesday 7 September 2016 by Libadmin2016

References: 16th International Multidisciplinary Scientific GeoConference SGEM 2016, www.sgem.org, SGEM2016 Conference Proceedings, ISBN 978-619-7105-67-4 / ISSN 1314-2704, June 28 - July 6, 2016, Book5 Vol. 3, 19-26 pp

ABSTRACT
Environmental taxes are aimed at reducing environmentally harmful actions and promotion of efficient use of resources. Therefore, more intensive environmental use should be reflected in the increase of environmental tax revenues. In addition, tax specialists have also come to a conclusion that the Baltic States should transfer tax burden more from labour and capital to property and environmental taxes. The research aim is to analyse environmental tax revenue and environmental tax burden trends in the Baltic States.
The situation significantly differs among the Baltic States. Within ten years (2005-2014), Estonia has produced the most rapid increase of environmental tax revenues (+108%), followed by Latvia (+82%), while Lithuania has shown the smallest growth (+29%). However, the three Baltic States outpace the average EU-28 indicator (+19%). The increase of energy taxes basically ensures the growth of total environmental tax revenues. In turn, the comparison of environmental tax burden or tax revenues of GDP shows varied trends: in Estonia, the environmental tax burden has significantly grown within ten years and it exceeds the average EU level; no essential changes have been observed in Latvia, while it has decreased in Lithuania; moreover the decrease is both due to the decrease in transport fuel taxes and taxes from pollution and resources.
In general, environmental tax revenues have relatively small share in tax revenues of the Baltic States. Yet, if the total tax burden in the Baltic States is below the EU average level, then environmental tax revenues have higher share in total tax revenues – Lithuania stays on the EU level, while Latvia and Estonia exceed it. During the pre-crisis period (2005-2008) the share of environmental taxes essentially decreased in the Baltic States, especially in Lithuania and Latvia, which may be explained by the increase of population purchasing power and thus, the growth of consumption tax burden. Though, during the economic crisis, the share of environmental taxes in Estonia and Latvia significantly grew and has stabilised presently.
The research results indicate that the total tax burden has slightly increased in Estonia during the last decade, including environmental tax burden and share of environmental taxes in total tax revenues. In Latvia and Lithuania, the total tax burden has slightly declined and it is one of the lowest in the EU Member States. Nevertheless, the share of environmental taxes remains stable in Latvia, while in Lithuania, both the environmental tax burden and the share of environmental taxes in total tax revenues have decreased despite recommendations of tax specialists. Research methods: monographic, analysis and synthesis, and graphic.

Keywords: environmental tax, environmental tax burden, environmental tax reform.