By Jason Moore

“I'M on holiday here and you have reported that the tourist tax is to be scrapped. Do I have to pay it?” This was a question which was put to me yesterday by a holidaymaker. Eventhough the coalition local government is out of office and almost out of mind until the new conservative administration is sworn in later this month the tax is still valid. Thousands of holidaymakers still pay the surcharge eventhough it will soon be scrapped. There is a possibility that visitors this month will pay and those who come next month won't. You wouldn't know it at the moment but we are in the peak summer months. For many businesses the next twelve weeks are vital and will determine whether or not they make a profit. But while the tourist industry has gone up a gear they still have to wait until the necessary public administrations go through what is little more than political protocol. Also, for the first time the tax is included in many tour operator's brochures so many tourists will be arriving thinking that they will have to pay the surcharge eventhough it many have been scrapped. The new Balearic President, Jaume Matas, says that he wants to “save the season.” There is little point in trying to save the season in July.
As soon as his landslide victory was confirmed he should have got to work and resolve the issue of the tourist tax laying out clear guidelines on when it will be abolished and what will happen to those who pay it. The last administration failed because they were unable to get their message across. There is a danger that this happen with the new Matas government. My advice to tourists is wait and see but this is an unacceptable state of affairs and one which will further tarnish the once good name of Majorca.

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