Dear Sir,

I am about to take possession of deeds to a property in Majorca. I had never thought about voting in local elections, but on reflection I can see that it makes sense that I should have a say in local matters. I appreciate that I will be liable for all taxes involved and in return I would expect a vote. The house will solely be for my use. As an EU resident, I live, work and pay huge taxes in Glasgow. My parents also live in Glasgow and their neighbouring house is owned by a Spanish family. The adults over the age of eighteen pay Council Tax and as such are entitled to a vote in local elections. I fail to see why this arrangement should not be reciprocated. Could I also point out that lack of a residencia is a bit sexist as a passport will easily fit in most handbags!

Gillian Leitch
Glasgow, Pollensa

Dear Sir,

ANNE Kay's letter referring to my earlier one on who is and is not eligible to vote in the coming elections, whilst she endeavours to explain and quotes at length from laws, etc, a reply by the Calvia council in the Spanish press to the allegation of “vote blocking” cuts to the chase, where they basically say that they require to see a rental contract in force and showing someone lives here for the better part of the year. I feel however some of Ms Kay's comments on rental contracts should be corrected as they can be misleading to readers. To explain:
1. It is requird by law to deposit with IVABI the initial deposit left by the tennant with the landlord, and is refunded at the end of the lease. This deposit can also be left with the Colegio de Administracion de Fincas who have the authority as well. It is compulsory.

2. There is a stamp tax on the value of the rental contract being a variable % which has to be left with the Balearic government tax office.
3. Finally, there is a tax on the income. For non-residents it is a flat 25% of the gross income p.a., for residents it goes into their overall tax return.

All of these are obligatory to the landlord, and whilst many do not keep to the rules/laws, one should not pretend they do not exist or cry “foul” when/if caught out. As far as local rates being paid direct by tennants, it may well be that the overall rent has been calculated by the landlord to include this cost, as well as community fees if applicable. But it would be a foolish landlord who put his trust in a tennant paying these direct, as these two items if unpaid could be processed very rapidly through the courts with costs to the owner (and even an auction if left) by either the town hall or a community. On this basis a tennant's name will not appear on rate receipts, and thus will not be a proof for electoral purposes. Whilst on all matters electoral, the long-awaited decision of Jaume Matas to declare his bid for presidency of the Balearics in the coming election, makes one wonder why this took so long. Was he weighing-up where his best chances were, ie would the national PP government retain power in May, or could the PP get back into government in the Balearics? Whichever choice he had made, he would have a “hill” to climb, as in Madrid as environment minister, his performance with the Prestige oil disaster and still questioned sand removal from the sea beds in Majorca that could/probably will cause damage, is only matched by the still unanswered questions raised after the last elections in the Balearics (when he lost the presidency) on election fraud and other matters. Whatever, it will probably prove to be a lively run up to the elections, and as Ms Kay says, it will certainly be worth “watching this space”!

Yours sincerely
Graham Phillips