Joan Collins
BALEARIC councils increased the tax burden on their citizens by 18 percent in 2005, according to a study by the Council of Majorca's economy department, headed by Miquel Angel Flaquer. From the budgets of each of the town councils, the Council of Majorca calculated the tax income budgeted for by the councils. This included direct and indirect taxes, and special taxes. In 2004 the councils budgeted a total of 422 million euros by this method. One year later, in 2005, their total calculated tax income was 500 million euros. In absolute terms Palma council is the one which budgeted for the most income from taxes, which was a total of 200 million euros.
On the other hand, it was the council in Ariany which had the least income from taxes in 2005, budgeting for a total of just 163'600 euros.
Nevertheless, it is more interesting to study the relative figures than the absolute figures. That is to say, how much on average each inhabitant of Majorca pays to their councils in taxes and rates. According to the report published by the Council of Majorca, each citizen on Majorca paid an average amount of 648.44 euros to their council.
However, to this figure must be added the taxes that have to be paid to the Balearic Government and the Spanish Government, so the tax burden for Balearic citizens was really much more. Depending on where you live on the island you can pay up to 10 times more tax.
In fact, this is the difference between the amount the inhabitants of Calvia had to pay last year and the amount those in Vilafranca de Bonany had to pay. According to budget expectations, the citizens of Calvia paid an average of 1'457.89 euros in rates and taxes to their council last year, while the inhabitants of Vilafranca de Bonany paid an average of 146.32 euros. Calvia, Sant Llorenc, Alcudia and Llucmajor are the councils which year after year head the list of councils with most tax income per head.
During the last few years it has habitually been the coastal provinces which have taken a greater quantity of money via direct and indirect taxes and special taxes. On this year's list the town of Escorca has appeared in fourth position behind Calvia, Sant Llorenc and Alcudia. Although the council tax burden rose by a little more than 18 percent on average, the rises were not evenly spread across the councils. Above the average were Lloret, where taxes rose by 45 percent, Felanitx with a rise of 37.8 percent, Escorca (33 percent), Palma (26 percent), Inca (24 percent), Campos (23.5 percent), Fornalutx (23 percent), Calvia, Santa Eugenia and Estellencs, all with a rise of more than 22 percent, and Lloseta with 21.8 percent. On the other hand, according to the figures analysed by the Council of Majorca, there were also councils which budgeted for less tax income during 2005. The most outstanding and surprising case is Vilafranca, whose tax income fell by 29.46 percent in 2005.
Other councils which lessened their citizens tax burden in comparison to 2004 were Sencelles (5.62 percent less), Algaida (4.56 percent less), Capdepera (1.56 percent less), Buger (1.4 percent less) and Sineu (0.1 percent less). In 2005 there were only five councils which reduced the tax burden on their citizens, while in 2004 there were 11 councils which cut their citizens tax burden. Palma was the place which received least money from other public bodies.
In 2005 Palma received a total of 165.19 euros per inhabitant paid to it by other public administration bodies. However, Escorca received 3'575.81 euros per inhabitant. Bearing this in mind, the differences are even more substantial if you look at the tax burden imposed by each council on its citizens.
Palma was below the average of all the councils on the island, their taxes were 264.91 euros per inhabitant last year, according to the Council of Majorca's analysis. If the coastal towns are those which impose a higher tax burden on their citizens with regard to council taxes, in the case of income from other public administration bodies, the list changes considerably. In this case it is the councils of Serra de Tramuntana which receive the most money. In the case of councils not in the Serra de Tramuntana, it is localities with few inhabitants situated in the Pla de Majorca which receive most, as is the case with Sant Joan.

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