San Sebastian is considering levying a tourist tax

by Lorraine Williamson
tourist tax possible in San Sebastian

SAN SEBASTIáN – San Sebastian (Guipúzcoa) wants to resume the debate about the tourist tax. Due to the outbreak of the coronavirus, the municipality temporarily put the plan on hold. 

“In a situation that is back to normal, the possible introduction of a tourist tax in San Sebastian should be brought back on the table,” said Eneko Goia, the current mayor of the city. A tourist surcharge has been around for years in several European countries. In Spain, however, only Catalonia, the Balearic Islands and, from 2024, the Valencian Community will impose a surcharge for visitors. 

Despite the intentions of the San Sebastian City Council, it is the Basque government that has the power to introduce a tourist tax. However, the municipality ruled out this option in 2019. 

cogesa expats

As Nius Diario points out, this rejection was because the provinces of Vizcaya and Álava did not support the imposition of said tax. The administrators there believed that the Basque Country has not yet suffered from tourist pressure, unlike some other autonomous communities in the country. 

However, the Basque government kept the possibility to leave open this debate in specific provinces or municipalities. 

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