The 140 million euros that the Government plans to collect via the ecotax in 2022 will be used to aid Covid-19 recovery and boost the economy, not for environmental issues.
The Commission for the Promotion of Sustainable Tourism, which is in charge of distributing ecotax funds is being suspended until 2023, according to the Community Budget.
Hisenda Minister, Rosario Sánchez, says the measure was taken because European funds will be available, so the Government will be able to spend money on projects of interest without having to submit them to the Commission for the Promotion of Sustainable Tourism, which represents Palma City Council, FELIB, CCOO, UGT, CAEB, PIMEM, the GOB and 4 other environmental entities and the Inter-island Agrarian Council.
When the ecotax was introduced there was controversy because most of the projects approved by the Commission had already been included in the Budgets of the respective Ministries and that meant that the Government had decided which investments to make without submitting them to the Commission first.
The GOB has been very critical of the fact that ecotax money has been used to finance projects that are not linked to the environment or sustainable tourism development, which is the object of the Law that regulates the Tourist Tax.
The objectives of the ecotax include: the protection of natural, rural, agricultural and marine environments; the promotion of tourist seasonal adjustment, with campaigns to promote sustainable tourism; the recovery of Islands’ historical heritage; the promotion of research projects and the development and improvement of training and employment for workers in the Community.
The decree states that all tourists, including cruise ship passengers, must pay 2-4 euros in ecotax, depending on the category of the hotel.
There are 3 exemptions: when the stay in a hotel is due to a catastrophic situation; when it is due to displacement for health reasons and when it’s for Imserso trips.