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The Tax Burden on Wastewater and the Protection of Water Ecosystems in EU Countries

Leticia Gallego Valero (), Encarnación Moral Pajares () and Isabel María Román Sánchez ()
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Leticia Gallego Valero: Department of Economy, University of Jaén, 23071 Jaén, Spain
Encarnación Moral Pajares: Department of Economy, University of Jaén, 23071 Jaén, Spain
Isabel María Román Sánchez: Department of Economy and Business, University of Almería, 04120 La Cañada, Spain

Sustainability, 2018, vol. 10, issue 1, 1-13

Abstract: 80% of all wastewater is discharged into the environment without first eliminating contaminants, and the consequences are cause for concern. The ecotaxes levied on effluents in many developed countries are aimed at preventing and minimizing water pollution and also, in part, helping to finance proper water reclamation facilities. The aim of this study is to conduct a comparative analysis of the current tax burden in a set of European Union countries on wastewater discharges and to assess its relationship with the quality of fresh water and other economic and political variables. The paper draws on different theoretical arguments and estimates a panel data model to verify the effectiveness of taxes in protecting aquatic ecosystems. These taxes are directly dependent on the environmental health status of water and inversely linked to the volume of discharged wastewater. In addition, a direct relationship is found between the tax burden on wastewater discharges and the variables representing the Human Development Index, the per capita expenditure on protecting water resources, the relative weight of ecotaxes in a country’s total tax revenues, and public support for green political movements.

Keywords: taxes; wastewater; environmental protection; environmental performance index; public expenditure; panel data (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 O13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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