by Staff Reporter
PEDRO Alvarez, the deputy mayor in charge of taxes and finance, said that the council is considering charging banks a tariff for their hole in the wall cash machines from next year, alleging that they give on to the public street.

He added that the charge will be applied under a municipal regulation governing the use of space.
At the moment, there are about 250 cash machines insstalled in walls giving on to the street.
Most of them belong to banks, although there are some video clubs which have their own machines so that films can be rented out 24 hours a day.
Alvarez pointed out that several municipalities in Spain already levy such a charge and he named the councils of Calvia in Majorca, and Alcobendas in Madrid.

The city has been studying the possibility for several years, but had been delaying a final decision because the banks would have appealed, and dragged the matter through the courts.

But, said Alvarez, an increasing number of court sentences now back the legal validity of the charge.
The latest favourable decision came from the Supreme High Court of Madrid and according to Alvarez, this is the jurisprudence which the council would base its case on if it decided to go ahead with the charge.

He said that the introduction of this charge would not have any direct repercussion on users, which, said Alvarez, is an additional reason for the council to introduce it.

The annual charge has not yet been fixed, as it would all depend on the site of each individual cash machine.
Alvarez said that it could be in the region of 600 euros a year.


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