In praise of German local government ingenuity – the pothole tax

I love it.

Unseasonally cold weather in North Western Europe has created a load of potholes across the streets of the old continent but a town in the Ex-Communist East Germany, Niderzimmern, has hit upon a way of makling money from this driver’s blight.

Niederzimmern, not far from Weimar,  and an area I know quite well (and appreciate much more) having spent some time in Jena in my fairly sensible youth – reckons that people will pay to have potholes filled in if they can stamp it with their intials or I love my wife, dog, mistress etc.

Meet the Niederzimmern pothole . . .

I’ve often thought that the problem wth local governnment in the UK is that it is not free to innovate and raise (and cut) funds as it thinks fit. Such an action would probably be unthinkable here. Taxes really do need to be localised and innovative. What’s special about this is that they could potentially raise tax from all over the world to solve a local problem.

According to the local website, they’ve only sold 52 so far.  So seeing as East Germany is emptying of people and the massive transfer of funds from West Germany is finally petering out, this is a really good idea. Three cheers for Niederzimmern !