MY DEAR ROAD …
Where are the billions of rubles of road taxes collected from all over Russia?
Photo by Sergey Kompanichenko
This year I underwent inspection and, as a law-abiding citizen, regularly paid tax to the Sberbank from the owner of vehicles in the amount of 194 rubles. And try not to pay - not to see the coveted yellow ticket, like your ears. No one objects: this money should go to a good goal - the construction and maintenance of Russian roads. Only well-intentioned to know where the path is paved.
We decided to ask how the money is collected in road funds and how they are then used.
CHARGES WERE SO LONG …
“Funds of road funds are formed due to: tax on the sale of fuels and lubricants; tax on road users; tax from vehicle owners; vehicle purchase tax; excises from the sale of cars for the personal use of citizens "(Article 3 of the Law" On Road Funds of the Russian Federation ").
How exactly everything is spelled out in the law! Buy a new car, ride it - pay tax. In real life, not everything is so simple. There is a law, but then … It turns out that the creation of the fund’s resources and their use are determined for some reason by the Decree of the Supreme Council of the Russian Federation of February 23, 1992, which, of course, does not take into account the numerous changes and additions made to the road legislation for the past seven years. This “gap” was supposed to be closed by the new Law “On Roads and Road Activities”, but, alas, our Duma cannot accept it in any way. And so we live according to the "covenants" of the Supreme Council, which has long been gone. And if they lived well, that’s all right, but we live - not really!
Let's start with the first part of the road funds. It should be replenished by the enterprises of the oil refining complex - as you know, the most “poor” in our country. Their debt to the road funds - it’s hard to believe - was 9.6 million rubles as of January 1, 1999! The list of the most malicious debtors then included LUKoil, Yukos, East Oil Company, KomTEK and Gazprom. Emergency measures were taken to restructure their debts to the funds - fuels and lubricants, bitumen, construction and road equipment were taken from them as debts. It does not help - debts are not reduced yet. But the tax on road users last year was almost completely collected, and even some debts for the past years were received. Though not everywhere in rubles, but with the same fuel and lubricants and building materials, but still better than nothing.
There is a tax in our country, which is always 100% collected from vehicle owners. And what is remarkable, they all pay with money - not a single attempt to replace the rubles with diesel fuel or gravel! The plans of the Motherland for the collection of taxes and excise taxes on the sale of vehicles are also 100% fulfilled: all legal entities accurately transfer the 20% tax when registering cars (you can, of course, not do this, only they will not register the car). And the private trader does not even suspect that, having bought a new “six” in personal property, he also laid out a certain amount as a tax. Which one, apparently, will never know. However, the Russian Road Agency (now called the Federal Road Service) cannot name it either: the excise tax on vehicle sales, contrary to the Law on Road Funds, goes directly … to the budget. According to the Budget Law.
Some regions of the Russian Federation generally decided to interpret the law in their own way. The Republics of Tatarstan and Bashkortostan collect road taxes regularly, but retain everything entirely. They don’t refuse subsidies from Moscow. But Moscow is denied the right to participate in the management of federal roads passing through their territory.
And SPEND THEM - QUICKLY!
“The funds of the Federal Road Fund of the Russian Federation are used to finance the maintenance, repair, reconstruction and construction of public roads, as well as the costs of road management” (Article 1.3 of the Law “On Road Funds”).
Last year, 17.5 billion rubles were received in the personal accounts of the FDS of Russia. During this time, 917 km of new roads were introduced, almost 10 km of new bridges and overpasses - three times more than in 1997.
Moreover, in 1998, at the request of the Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers of the Chechen Republic, the FDS of Russia transferred over 57 million rubles. to repair the federal highway M-29 "Caucasus". Needless to say, these amounts, which are part of the road taxes collected from law-abiding Russians, have disappeared without a trace somewhere in the foothills of the North Caucasus. Let us note in passing that the managing apparatus of the FDS of Russia itself also did not skimp on expenses, by more than 4 million rubles. exceeding your budget. Simple arithmetic shows that exactly 28 thousand motorists contributed in the form of taxes. They bought furniture, computers, refrigerators and televisions for the offices of fund managers on their hard-earned money, paid for cellular communications, car rentals, etc.
MONEY - ON THE BARREL!
“The funds of the Federal Road Fund of the Russian Federation and territorial road funds have a special purpose and are not subject to withdrawal or expenditure for needs not related to the maintenance and development of public roads” (Article 1.2 of the Law “On Road Funds”).
According to the leaders of the Russian Road Agency, road taxes in the country are collected today by only 50%. But this is “living” money, and there are so many hunters for them! And the list of regions where the funds of the territorial road fund were used for other, albeit good, goals, practically coincides with the list of regions of the country …
According to the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation, airports were repaired for this money in the Altai Territory, Kamchatka and Nizhny Novgorod Regions, the railway in the Arkhangelsk Region, and a subway was built in Krasnoyarsk. And of course, “travel money” went to the social sphere (in the Lipetsk, Voronezh, Kursk regions, Primorsky Territory, etc.).
Incidentally, there is a procedure by which, in case of misuse of the funds of the territorial road fund, the transfer of subsidies is immediately stopped, and the previously listed ones are returned to the federal fund. But this rule has never been applied! And no wonder. How to punish the territorial fund, which the head of the region "twisted his arms" by forcing to transfer money to the social sphere, if the Russian Road Agency itself is "broken" regularly?
“Several years ago, the government through the treasury system withdrew about 5 trillion rubles (“ old ”) from the FDS budget, and for almost two years the Duma and the Federation Council fought to get this money back, ” recalls Yury Ten, deputy chairman of the State Duma Committee on Industry and Transport. - But now, from the federal budget of 1999, moreover, from the draft budget for 2000, the money of road funds is being spent for other purposes! This year, a billion rubles went to pay pensions. Especially about the draft budget 2000. At first, the government generally proposed the liquidation of the federal road fund (?!). Prime Minister Putin was very indignant when he learned that less money is being spent on the Armed Forces than is going to the road fund. Most of us are for making more money allocated for maintaining the army, but not at the expense of building roads! Any more or less competent economist knows that the maintenance of the army is even necessary, but net costs, while the construction and maintenance of roads is a long investment, new jobs, the development of small and medium-sized businesses, the entire infrastructure in the area where they pass. But all the same, 5.5 billion rubles were proposed in the 2000 draft budget. from the road fund to spend on the purchase of weapons. In a word, the federal center gives the regions an example of how to break their own laws.