The "Court of Auditors is having a fit" - this is what Der Spiegel, RND and the Tagesschau report today. Background is the grand evaluation of 33 tax benefits from 2017 to 2019, led by FiFo Köln. Now, in a report to the Bundestag, the Federal Court of Auditors "ultimatively" demands that the Federal Minister of Finance do something to abolish the criticised concessions in the motor vehicle tax, currently worth around one billion Euros. The FiFo evaluation had identified, among other things, the subsidisation of tractors as not very effective and not sustainable. The results of this and other evaluations can be found in the six FiFo reports 28-0 to 28-E.

In acute emergency situations such as the corona pandemic or the current energy crisis, the focus of economic policy is on support and rescue. This is primarily the task of the central state. The Länder must support these measures and implement them locally. At the centre of a visionary, evidence-based economic policy of the Länder, however, must lie structural measures aimed at increased immigration, higher productivity and climate neutrality. In this context, as Michael Thöne writes in a statement for the North Rhine-Westphalian parliament, fiscal restrictions and the state's own shortage of skilled staff are forcing the states to also modernise ambitiously.

With limited resources to spend, the municipalities in North Rhine-Westphalia are facing enormous challenges for the future. The investive transformation of NRW's municipalities is the focus of the annual survey, conducted by FiFo Köln with the support of NRW.BANK. Following the presentation of the project at the 17th Finanzmarktforum 2023, the six-week field phase survey of the cities, towns and districts in North Rhine-Westphalia is starting now. The main topics will be investment plans and investment backlogs as well as the challenges posed by climate change and digitalization.

After a long illness, bravely endured and productively resisted, Jens Bullerjahn died on 26 November 2022 at the age of 60. We mourn the FiFo Policy Fellow as an always stimulating co-author, an always demanding sparring partner and, above all, as an always good friend. Rest in peace.

The vehicle tax and the privileged income tax treatment of company cars are central obstacles on the way to fairer and more climate-friendly mobility. A new study by FiFo Cologne and RWI Essen shows the decisive role of the purchase decision for the structure of the passenger car fleet. Based, among other things, on household surveys conducted by RWI, FiFo drafts reform models for both of the central levies that still stand in the way of the transformation today. Now the full version of the study financed by Agora Verkehrswende has been released. 

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