Türkiye İçin Optimal Akaryakıt Vergisi
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Turkey imposes excise taxes (called special consumption taxes) on gasoline, diesel and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG/autogas) which seem to be quite high compared to other countries all over the world. In this sense, motorfuel prices and taxes have always been a hot topic in public and academic debates. This dissertation aims to determine optimal gasoline and autogas taxes for Turkey. To this end, it adopts a general equlibrium model that is commonly used in previous literature. The study considers a static, closed economy model where a representative household maximizes his utility function while governmet optimizes gasoline and autogas taxes by taking houlsehold’s indirect utility function into account. Solution to the optimization problem enables us to derive the second-best optimal gasoline and autogas taxes that can be disaggregated into the components reflecting external costs of congestion, traffic safety, noise, air pollution, and climate change as well as broader fiscal effects reflecting the appropriate balance between excise and labor taxes in government’s budget. The results seem to provide support for the arguments that current gasoline and autogas tax levels are rather high compared the optimal level. The findings from baseline parametrization show that optimal taxes are 1,5TL/l and 0,43 TL/l for gasoline and autogas that are substantially lower than the current tax levels respectively by 31% and 51% . Additionally, the results show that if the current tax levels are reduced to the optimal levels, the total welfare gains of households reach approximately 1,5 billion TL per year. Sensitivity analyses reveal that the likelihood of optimal taxes being lower than the current taxes is quite high. However, taking the changes in external cost estimates into account, optimal gasoline tax levels appear to be very sensitive to the marginal efficiency cost of labor taxation. This suggests that in order for government to set tax levels optimally, it is important how government dispenses motor fuel tax revenues in the budget.