Chancellor Angela Merkel has calmed a fractious debate emanating from Bavaria by reassuring motorists that a blanket fee on all road users is not around the corner in Germany.
Alexander Dobrindt, the country’s transport minister from the Christian Social Union, Ms. Merkel’s sister party, in July proposed taxing auto drivers in Germany and levying a fee on foreign vehicles using Germany’s autobahns.
The plan provoked a rash of competing proposals and disagreement in a contentious debate that had raged all summer.
Wolfgang Schäuble, the German finance minister and a Christian Democrat like Ms. Merkel, criticized the road tax, saying it would be too complicated to process and could cause complications at Germany’s borders.
Mr. Schäuble proposed an alternative which would mean all road users pay an extra fee.
A further suggestion was made by the BGA, the Federation of German Wholesale, Foreign Trade and Services, to tax every kilometer driven on busy freeways.
The idea of levying a tax on roads originated in Bavaria. Mr. Dobrindt whose CSU party is based there, proposed charging drivers entering and exiting the country. The move would be popular among Bavarian voters especially those who live near to the borders who are annoyed by drivers from across the border motoring into Germany free of charge, while Bavarians behind the wheel have to reach for their wallets to hit Swiss and Austrian roads.