Fact Check: NO 'Rain Tax' Was Introduced In Lithuania To Supplement Budget

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  • Автор: Lead Stories Staff
Fact Check: NO 'Rain Tax' Was Introduced In Lithuania To Supplement Budget No Such Tax

Was a new law introduced by the Lithuanian government to impose a rain tax as a response to budget deficits caused by sanctions, starting at the beginning of 2024? No, that's not true: Lithuania does not have a rain tax. However, the government has enacted a new law that mandates registration for users of surface water. This regulation applies to those extracting 100 cubic meters or more of surface water per day from a single water body.

The story originated from the news on Belarusian TV channel Belarus 1 (archived here) and appeared in a TikTok video (archived here) where it was published by bag_lt on November 8, 2023, under the title (translated from Russian to English by Lead Stories staff) "Starting from January 2024 Lithuania will introduce a rain tax." The newscast said (as translated):

The echo of sanctions and ill-considered politics. The Lithuanian authorities have decided to rob their citizens of the last. The country came up with an original way to supplement the deficit budget and introduce the so-called rain tax. It will be collected from January 1, 2024. Now, people using rainwater for their own purposes will have to register their activities and keep water records independently. The tax rate will be the same for both ordinary people and hydro plants. Soon, apparently, they will come up with the idea of ​​charging for the sun and wind.

This is what the post looked like on TikTok at the time of writing:

Screenshot 2023-12-07 at 4.51.06 PM.png

(Source: TikTok screenshot taken on Thu Dec 7 12:58:00 2023 UTC)

In Lithuania, a new law, Tax For State Natural Resources Law №I-1163, was introduced on June 30, 2022, and will come into effect on January 1, 2024. The changes in the law outline who needs to pay the tax on state natural resources. It applies to individuals and businesses involved in extracting certain resources, which must have a permit according to the rules of the Environmental Protection Law of Lithuania. Those who must register as water users are also included. Specifically, the law focuses on those extracting 100 cubic meters or more water daily or using that amount of water for hydropower in hydroelectric power plants through certain structures.

Lithuania's Minister for Environment Simonas Gentvilas clarified that the requirement to pay a tax for utilizing natural resources, specifically surface water, is triggered when consumption reaches 100 cubic meters or more per day from a single surface water source. According to the law's authors, such a measure will encourage sustainable water use and the search for alternative solutions to reduce water waste.

In response to a question about suggesting an air tax for wind turbines in Lithuania, Prime Minister Ingrida Šimonytė said: "We have no such plans."

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