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Tax incentives motivate repair work

Swedes are heading up legislation to keep even more items out of their already small landfills.

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Tax incentives motivate repair work
In the country that's already considered the most sustainable in the world, Sweden's Social Democrat and Green parties are heading up legislation for tax breaks on repairs to keep more things out of landfills.

A series of new tax breaks for 2017 being proposed includes reducing the VAT (value-added tax) from 25 percent to 12 percent when repairing old and broken items for reuse such as bicycles, shoes, washing machines rather than tossing them in a landfill. An additional proposal would allow people to claim back from income tax half of the labor cost on repairs to such items as refrigerators, ovens and dishwashers.
"We believe this could substantially lower the cost and make it more rational economic behavior to repair your goods, said Per Bolund, Swedens minister for financial markets and consumer affairs, adding his hope that the tax plan will spur new jobs in the home-repairs service industry. If the proposals become law, it could go into effect January 1, 2017.

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