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Paying water authority tax

Do you own or use a building, land or a nature area? If so, you must pay waterschapsheffingen (water authority taxes) to your local water authority.

Waterschappen (water authorities) are responsible for:

  • ensuring dykes are safe;
  • monitoring groundwater levels;
  • ensuring there is sufficient clean water in brooks and streams, and
  • purifying sewage water.

Water authorities collect the taxes themselves. The taxes that they collect enables them to carry out their tasks.

Water board tax consists of different types of charges:

  • zuiveringsheffing (waste water treatment charge);
  • verontreinigingsheffing (pollution charge);
  • watersysteemheffing (water system charge);
  • wegenheffing (road charge).

Which charge you have to pay depends on your personal situation and place of residence.

Waste water treatment charge

Water authorities use the water treatment levycharge to pay for the cost of cleaning sewage water. Sewage is produced when we wash the dishes, do the laundry and flush the toilet, for example.

Pollution charge

Water authorities use the pollution levycharge to pay the costs of purifying water in brooks and streams into which wastewater is discharged.

Water system charge

Water authorities use the water system levycharge to pay for the costs of draining water in wet periods and retaining water in dry periods, for example by means of dyikes and pumping stations. In this way, they protect your home and business from flooding and prevent water shortages.

Water authorities also use the money from the water system charge to keep water in brooks, streams, ponds and lakes clean. They do this for example by dredging, constructing nature-friendly banks and suppressing nutrient overabundance in bodies of water.

Road charge

Some water authorities charge a road charge. They use it to pay for the maintenance of roads and cycle paths outside built-up areas (with the exception of provincial and national roads).

Every year, each water authority sets tax rates for its own area. The amount of water authority taxes varies from one water authority to another. This is because areas differ from each other and so do the tasks of the water authorities. For example, one water authority manages dykes while another does not.

You receive a tax assessment every year. This tells you how much water authority tax you have to pay.

This is how it works for you

Your (future) place of residence falls under:

Here is some information from your water authority.

Paying water authority tax to water authority Rijnland

Which charges do you have to pay?

Water authority Rijnland charges the following types of charges:

  • water treatment charge;
  • pollution charge;
  • water system charge.

Water treatment charge

You pay the water treatment charge if you are the owner or tenant of a residential property which is connected to the sewage system.

We impose the charge on each independent dwelling. This is a dwelling with its own kitchen, shower and toilet.

The water treatment charge is based on the number of people in your household. ‘Pollution units’ are used for this purpose. On average, three people live in a house in the Netherlands. Therefore, all households pay for three pollution units. Are you registered as a single occupant with your municipality? If so, you will pay for one pollution unit. We receive this data from your municipality.

Pollution charge

You pay the pollution charge if you are the owner or user of a dwelling which discharges wastewater into a brook or stream (surface water).

We calculate the pollution charge assessment in the same way as the water treatment charge.

Water system charge

You must pay the water system charge if you are the owner or tenant of a building (for example a residential property) or of land, such as agricultural land or a nature area.

There are different types of water system charge:

  1. water system charge – residents (applicable only to private individuals);
  2. water system charge – built-on land;
  3. water system charge – land not built on;
  4. water system charge – nature.

Depending on your situation, you must pay the following tax(es):

  • Are you registered with your municipality on 1 January of the tax year as the main resident of a dwelling? If so, you must pay the water system charge – residents.
    The main resident of a rented or owner-occupied dwelling must pay that charge to the water authority for all the residents of that dwelling each year. ‘Main resident’ is to be understood as meaning the resident whose name appears on the purchase/rental agreement.
  • Do you own a building, such as a house, barn, shed or commercial building? If so, you must pay the water system charge – built-on land.
    The water system charge – built-on land is calculated on the basis of the building’s WOZ value. That value is determined by the municipality on the basis of the Wet waardering onroerende zaken – WOZ (Valuation of Immovable Property Act).
  • Do you own land which has not been built on? If so, you must pay the water system charge – land not built on. ‘Land not built on’ is to be understood as meaning for example fields, arable land and pasturage.
    The amount of tax that you must pay is determined by the value of the number of hectares of land that you own. You pay this charge if, on 1 January of a tax year, you are registered with the Land Registry Office as the owner, leaseholder, usufructuary or superficiary of land not built on, or the holder of a real ‘right of use and occupation’ over that land.
  • Are you the owner of a nature area? If so, you must pay the water system charge – nature. The Waterschapswet (Water Authorities Act) defines the term ‘nature’ as follows: ‘Immovable property which has not been built on and whose set-up and management are entirely – or almost entirely – and permanently geared to the preservation or development of nature’. Forests which are larger than 1 hectare also fall under the definition of nature. As does open water (lakes) with a surface area larger than 1 hectare and an ‘open and expansive character’.

The surface area of the land determines the amount of the water system charge – nature which you must you pay. Owners of buildings located in a nature area simply receive the water system charge – built-on land assessment.

You will receive a tax bill without applying for it.

How do you receive your tax assessment?

Do you use MijnOverheid? Then you will receive the tax assessment digitally via the Berichtenbox (Message Box). To log in to the Message Box, you need a DigiD. Do you not have a DigiD yet? Information about this can be found at DigiD abroad | Netherlands Worldwide.

Are you not yet registered for the Message Box? Then you will receive your tax assessment by post.

When will you receive your tax assessment?

You will receive a provisional tax assessment at the beginning of a given year. You will receive a final tax assessment after the end of the tax year.

Water authority tax when moving house

If you move to the area of another water authority during the year and have already paid the water treatment charge and pollution charge, you can request a refund. This is because you will pay tax to the water authority in your new area as soon as you move.

The water system charge is not refunded when you move house.

Paying water authority tax and managing your tax affairs

Do you have a question about water authority tax? Would you like to view your assessment or pay by direct debit, for example? Would you like to notify a change of address, apply for relief or lodge an objection?

You can manage all your tax affairs via Belastingsamenwerking Gouwe-Rijnland - BSGR (available only in Dutch). You can also call us. We can be reached on +31 71 306 30 63 every working day between 8.00 and 17.00.

How much water authority tax do you have to pay?

Exactly how much water authority tax you have to pay each year depends on your personal situation. This includes, for example, whether you live in an owner-occupied or rented house, how many people live there, how the house is connected to the sewerage system and whether you own land which has not been built on or a nature area.

Water authority tax rates

The tax rates of water authority Rijnland for 2023 can be found at Waterschapsbelasting (Water authority tax) ( (available only in Dutch).

Are you unable to pay the water authority tax?

If you are struggling to pay your water authority tax assessment on time, you can agree with the water authority to pay the tax in instalments.

Applying for a payment arrangement or relief

Are you unable to pay the water authority tax? If so, apply for (partial) relief. You may be eligible for full or partial tax relief if you

  • cannot pay your tax assessment in full or in part;
  • have no assets;
  • pay less to other creditors than you should according to the Tax Administration.

To set up a payment arrangement or apply for relief, contact Belastingsamenwerking Gouwe-Rijnland via Contact | BSGR.

Would you like to apply for relief digitally?

Complete your application for relief via Kwijtschelding - BSGR (available only in Dutch). You need a DigiD to do this. Do you not have a DigiD yet? Information about this can be found at DigiD abroad | Netherlands Worldwide.

Objecting to a tax assessment

Do you disagree with your tax assessment? If so, you can lodge an objection within 6 weeks with water authority Rijnland via

Questions about this topic?

Contact Hoogheemraadschap van Rijnland

Visiting address

Lammenschansweg 144

2321JX Leiden

Opening hours
08.30 - 16.30
08.30 - 16.30
08.30 - 16.30
08.30 - 16.30
08.30 - 16.30
Last updated on 28 November 2022