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Municipal tax on encroachments on or above public land (precario)

This information is provided by:Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVONetherlands Enterprise Agency, RVOLast updated on Nederlandse versie

In the Netherlands, a municipal tax is often owed for the use of public land for advertising or displaying items. Read more.

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at your municipality, province, or water authority

Do you use land that belongs to the municipality? In most cases a municipal tax is owed for the use of public land. This is a tax on encroachments on or above public land, also called precario tax (precariobelasting).

Anyone who uses a plot of municipal land, for instance by installing an object on it, suspending an object above it, or anchoring an object to the ground, has to pay this tax. This includes:

The tax also applies if you install cables, pipelines, or tanks in municipal land. The amount owed depends on how the land is used. It can also differ between municipalities.


In some municipalities you also need to pay this tax for commercial vessels or houseboats with fixed mooring. You then make use of a public waterway. Then this tax is called demurrage (liggeld).


If you rent this land from the municipality, you do not have to pay the tax. You also do not need to pay the tax if you have a legal or contract requirement to place objects (such as telecom cables) in, on, or above municipal land.

Displaying items for sale on the street

In some municipalities, you also have to pay precario tax if you display items for sale on the street. The amount depends on how the public space is used. You can find out if and how much you should pay from your municipality (in Dutch). In some cases, you will also need a display permit (uitstallingsvergunning).

What you must do

In most cases you need a permit to use public space, such as an All-in-one Permit for Physical Aspects. In some municipalities, the precario tax is included in the cost of the permit. Otherwise, you need to pay the tax separately.

You must also usually include information about the object with your application to the municipal authority, such as the size and location of the object.

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