The Balearic government wants everyone to pay the tourist tax but it may have scored an own goal. It may have forced more people into the so-called “illegal” holiday market which it claims it can´t control. Hoteliers allege that thousands of homes and apartments are rented out illegally every summer, and of course as the properties are “illegal”, would-be customers will not pay the tourist tax. So in fact it could be argued that the government is driving people into the so-called holiday black market. The hoteliers have called for a major crackdown on the so-called “illegal” rental market, which they claim is unfair competition. Holiday home owners have argued that they should be able to do what they please with their properties. Both sides have a point but as yet the Balearic government has failed to solve the problem. The tourist tax is only going to make the problem even more pronounced and complicated. If hoteliers suspect that there has been an increase in the “illegal market” and they have noticed a drop in bookings, well there is going to be a major outcry. The Balearic government did promise to try and resolve the problem of illegal holiday rentals when it first announced the tax. So far, little or nothing has been done. The tourist tax will be introduced on 1 June and I suspect that there will be an outcry from hoteliers unless they bite the bullet and pay the tax themselves this year.
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