"We're looking at transforming the way the tax is charged from the point of view of an automobile's environmental friendliness," Siluanov said Tuesday, Interfax reported. "The ecological class could be a factor in automobile tax."
The transportation tax is a major source of revenue for the regions, and it would not be appropriate to abolish it entirely, he said. Siluanov also said no decision had been made on a plan to raise the tax in 2013 for automobiles with more than 480 horsepower.
"This definitely won't happen starting next year, and this issue is not yet moving in the government," he said.
Deputy Finance Minister Sergei Shatalov told reporters later that the Finance Ministry had discussed possible changes to the transportation tax base with the Transportation Ministry.
"This is being determined based on engine capacity, and we have agreed to proceed to engine capacity and have a look at an ecological component," he said, adding that the details had not yet been discussed.
Shatalov said that any changes would not take effect before 2014 and that the Finance Ministry would start drafting the necessary bill next year.