Tourist tax in Valencia at stake

by Lorraine Williamson
Valencian tourist tax at stake

VALENCIA – The Valencian government parties PSPV-Compromís and Unides Podem are the initiators of the bill to levy a tourist tax in the region. However, this proposal has encountered considerable resistance from entrepreneurs in the tourism sector, and the tourist tax could now be at stake. 

Thousands of signatures were collected against the tourist tax with the #noalatasaturistica campaign. This included businessmen, professionals, individuals, institutions, and companies from both the economic and social spectrum. 

The majority of municipalities do not want to introduce tax 

On Tuesday, Ximo Puig, president of the Generalitat, pointed out, according to EFE, that the tourist tax will be introduced “in practically no city” in the Valencian Community. “The vast majority of city councils have decided not to do this”. In addition, these city councils have the backing of the president. 

The real problem of the sector lies elsewhere 

In statements to the media, Puig said it is necessary to “get over this situation which does not make sense”. Because the “real problem” of the tourism sector is not this percentage of tax. Rather, the problem has to do with prices and how to return to the normalcy that existed before the pandemic. But, also to tap into new markets. 

Voluntary base breaks up the initiative 

The tax would not be charged voluntarily until late 2023 or early 2024. But that voluntary basis is now breaking the bill of the three parties. Each city council can decide whether or not the daily allowance between €0.50 and €2.00, depending on the type of accommodation, is applied. 

Cogesa Expats

Step down 

The regional secretary of tourism, the socialist Francesc Colomer, even indicated he would resign if the tourist tax went through. He emphasised that he “doesn’t know any mayor of his party who is in favour of the initiative”. 

The city of Valencia wants to introduce tax from 2023 

The mayor of Valencia, Joan Ribo of the Compromís party, has already reacted to Puig’s statements. “I think my group has reached an agreement with the government of the Generalitat. The project is being presented and postponed until 2023 maximum but no longer”. He added that it is a tax levied by the “vast majority of European cities”. And, furthermore, has no impact on the number of visitors they receive. 

Visitors would pay for additional costs they cause 

In this sense, Ribó emphasised the fact that neither the hoteliers nor the inhabitants of the city should pay the tax, but the visitors. “And it’s reasonable, because they use services that we Valencians have to pay for, and if they don’t pay for it, we have to do it ourselves,” such as costs for security or cleaning. 

Tourist tax in Mallorca is no problem 

For this reason, the mayor would like the opponents of the tourist tax, such as Francesc Colomer, to explain more clearly why they are so categorically against the introduction of a tourist tax. Or that they will talk to the mayor of Palma de Mallorca, from the same party as the opponents, who does levy a tourist tax and where there is no problem. 

Also read: Tourist tax for unregulated holiday homes

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