Molenbeek, the first municipality in Belgium to adopt a tax on automatic supermarket checkouts

Small innovation, Wednesday evening, at the municipal council of Molenbeek where the Alderman of Finance Georges Van Leeckwyck (MR) proposed a regulation aimed at taxing automatic checkouts in supermarkets.

This is a first in Belgium. In total, fourteen automatic supermarket checkouts are listed in two stores in the town. For each tax, the large brand will have to pay 5,500 euros, for a total of 77,000 euros over the first year. A relatively negligible amount at first sight for the town, which some opposition councilors have pointed out. “We know that these are small amounts. If we knew how to bring in more money massively, we would do it”, admits Georges Van Leeckwyck. Welcoming the measure, the socialist Jamal Ikazban is not worried about the amount, nor about seeing the companies leave. “A tax is not only intended to bring money back into the coffers, but also to change mentalities. Proud of this measure, the mayor specified “to be in an extremely dissuasive device”.

This new tax, aimed at large companies more than small traders, won over 28 of the 32 voters. Dirty evening for the big brands in Molenbeek, since the municipality has also attacked, again via proposals from Georges Van Leeckwyck, who also introduced a tax on advertising on public roads, on public displays and on filming advertisements and films.

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