Do you own land, buildings, or nature areas in the Netherlands? Or do you use commercial premises? You have to pay water authority tax (waterschapsbelasting, in Dutch) to your regional water authority (waterschap, in Dutch).
With these taxes the regional water authority (also called water board) pays for the construction and maintenance of for example dikes, embankments, ditches and ponds. They also make sure the water level and water quality remain in good condition.
The water authority tax assessment can consist of, for example:
- a water purification levy
- a pollution levy
- a water system levy
- a road levy
The regional water authority decides the amount of the tax for their region each year. Which levies apply to you depends on your situation and the location (region) of your business.
Water purification levy
You have to pay a water purification levy if you use commercial premises and discharge wastewater into the sewer.
You have to pay a pollution levy if you use commercial premises and discharge wastewater into surface water.
Water system levy
You have to pay a water system levy if you own or use a building, and if you own or use land or nature areas:
- the user of a residence (either owner or renter) pays a water system levy for residents
- the owner of a residence or other building pays a water system levy for built-up land
- the owner of non-built-up land or nature areas pays a water system levy for non-built-up land
In some regions you have to pay road levy to the regional water authority. The water authority uses the proceeds to pay for maintenance of roads and cycle paths outside built-up areas (except provincial and national roads).
Paying water authority tax
Once a year, in general at the start of a calendar year, you will receive the tax assessment which states the amount you have to pay. Your regional water board can supply you with more information on how the amount is calculated.
If you want to use land owned by the Regional Water Authority, you may have to pay a municipal tax for 'encroachment on or above public land' (precariobelasting).
Dues and fees
Water authorities can also charge duties and fees, for example the tax for a permit from the water board.
Remission of water authority taxes
Small entrepreneurs, such as the self-employed and sole proprietors, can apply for a remission of their private water authority taxes. It depends on the regional water authority if and how you can apply for this tax remission.
Do you disagree with the water board tax assessment? You can file an objection with your regional water authority.