Traffic light agrees on the CO2 tax for tenants and landlords

Die traffic light coalition has settled its dispute over the climate tax for residential buildings. The planned cost allocation between tenants and landlords for the carbon dioxide tax (CO2) should be passed this week, Reuters learned on Tuesday evening from the Greens and the SPD. “The law will be drafted in the Bundestag on Thursday and will come into force as planned in 2023,” said Christina-Johanne Schröder, spokeswoman for building policy for the Greens in the Bundestag. “This shows that we are capable of reaching agreement as a traffic light.”

Her SPD colleague Bernhard Daldrup said: “We have found a good compromise.” The FDP, at whose request the adoption originally planned for October was postponed, also confirmed the agreement.

This means a relief for millions of tenants. So far, they alone have to bear the costs of the carbon dioxide tax introduced in 2021. Landlords should now participate in this according to a step-by-step model that distributes the costs depending on consumption and the condition of the building. The landlord’s share of the costs is greater the less climate-friendly their building is. The original bill stipulated that their cost share should be between 90 and zero percent.

Stage model changed again

Daldrup said the stage model had been changed again. At the lowest level for particularly high-emission buildings, landlords would now have to bear 95 percent of the CO2 tax. “This gives landlords a greater incentive to make energy-saving investments,” said Daldrup. “Conversely, landlords in the upper segment are largely relieved.” Overall, the model leads to a 50:50 split of costs between tenants and landlords.

Originally, the Bundestag was supposed to pass the law in October. But the FDP put the brakes on. Your building policy spokesman Daniel Föst, for example, had urged the project to be postponed in order to avoid further bureaucracy at a time of energy crisis and inflation. “With the stage model, there is now a fair distribution of the CO2 costs,” Föst now confirmed the agreement. “We have to make sure that the bureaucratic effort remains as low as possible and that there are no further burdens, especially for micro and small landlords.”

According to earlier information from the Ministry of Construction, the phased model covers over 13 million apartments. According to the draft law, this will result in “carbon dioxide costs of an estimated one billion euros, which will be borne entirely by the tenants”. According to the original draft law, tenants and landlords should initially each bear half of the CO2 costs for commercial real estate.

The draft law also takes special rules into account, for example for gas floor heating. There, tenants pay the gas bill themselves and must request a cost contribution from the landlord. The tenants’ association had estimated the additional costs due to the CO2 tax for an average apartment in an apartment building for 2022 at around 67 euros (gas) and 98 euros (heating oil) annually. The costs will increase over the next few years with a gradual increase in the CO2 tax. However, the traffic light coalition has postponed the increases planned for the coming year and the years thereafter by one year because of the costs caused by the energy crisis.

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