From: Associated Press
Published May 12, 2005 12:00 AM

German Cabinet Approves Tax Breaks for Diesel Cars with Soot Filters

BERLIN — The German government on Wednesday approved plans to offer a tax break of up to euro350 (US$450) to owners of diesel-powered cars fitted with soot-blocking particle filters.


The tax break, which would take effect Jan. 1, 2006, and expire at the end of 2007, would be deducted from the annual motor vehicle tax, the Finance Ministry said.


Owners of diesel cars registered between Jan. 1, 2005, and Dec. 31, 2007, will receive the euro350 break, while those who fit older cars with the filters will get euro250 (US$322) off their tax bills.


Germany's automakers plan to include the technology in all diesel-powered vehicles by 2008. The total tax break falls short of the euro600 (US$772) originally planned by the Environment Ministry.


The filters drastically reduce the amount of soot particles -- which have been linked to cancer and respiratory disease -- emitted into the atmosphere from diesel engines.


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The plan still requires approval by parliament, including its opposition-controlled upper house.


Source: Associated Press


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