The ball is now in the Balearic government's court over whether it seriously wants to push ahead with the controversial tourist tax with the Majorcan Hotel Federation threatening legal action. The results of the judicial study into the legality of the tourist tax were revealed yesterday by the Federation and its legal advisers. Lawyers acting on behalf of the Federation have uncovered a number of serious legal flaws in the government's tax plan, but primarily, the main fault with the tax is that it is unconstitutional as it clashes with VAT already paid by hoteliers and is therefore a double tax. President of the Majorcan Hotel Federation, Pedro Cañellas, explained yesterday that not only is the tax unconstitutional, but also incompatible with the Autonomous Communities Finance Law and the Autonomous Statute, norms which in turn prevent an autonomous government from introducing a tax to raise funds which are already covered by state taxes. In short, the tourist tax would see hoteliers being taxed twice for the same thing, as funds for the environment should come out of funds raised by current taxes. The legal team which carried out the study also claim that the tax will “restrict a company's operation and the free movement of people and services,” the latter of which conflicts with the Maastricht Treaty. The Hotel Federation also said that there may be further grounds on which the tax is unconstitutional because it discriminates between different sectors in the tourist industry and will only affect hotels.


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