Exceptional circumstances, we can accept, require exceptional measures. In the Balearics, as everywhere else, these exceptional circumstances demand urgent economic reconstruction and therefore substantial funding by governments.
The Balearic government is to reallocate tourist tax funds that haven’t yet been spent to this reconstruction. In terms of overall spending requirements, these funds are only a very small part, yet the government clearly feels the need to use all possible sources of funds. While understandable, the principle has to be questioned as it further reinforces an accusation that the tourist tax has been treated as a means of general tax revenue raising.
Moreover, it is understood that the commission which decides how tourist tax revenue is allocated is to be stood down. The amount of revenue that will be raised this year is clearly going to be well short of the budgeted 128 million euros, but do we infer from the fact that the commission will not be convening that whatever amount is raised will simply be going straight to an account for general purpose spending? We probably do infer this.
And what about next year? Will the commission be revived? Not in all honesty that it serves its own purpose, given that decisions are typically government faits accomplis. But at least it gives an appearance of consensus. With or without the commission, will the tax continue to be allocated to general purposes? Economic reconstruction is going to be a protracted process.