Taxation of Agricultural Land in Europe: A Comparative Approach

Considering the large area of agricultural land in the EU, taxation of agricultural land is a significant subject to EU states and has important effects on sectors like agriculture, urban planning, and environmental policies. Agricultural taxation can potentially interfere with the erosion of biodiversity through the artificialization and profitability of agricultural land.

One recent study from the French Foundation for Biodiversity Research compares and analyzes six types of taxes and their roles in different EU member states.

This study found that taxation of agricultural land appears to be relatively low in Europe, as many apply a specific regime to some taxes. The link between agricultural land tax measures and ecological potential or biodiversity-friendly practices is limited to certain few tax measures. Moreover, the difference in taxation of agricultural land is significant among EU countries.

In general, the current taxation of agricultural land supports the national economic and social purpose instead of environmental goals. Though with positive causes, the national tax system for agriculture could lead to negative impacts on the environment and climate change mitigation, such as artificialization, the detriment of biodiversity, the landscape and agriculture itself. The current government strategy should address the possible guiding role of agricultural land taxation on biodiversity and climate actions.

Click here for the complete version in French. The English version of the article will be published soon.