Property market being praised for fuelling the economic recovery.

01-02-2016Laura Pons Bedoya

Balearic tax revenue coffers were swelled last year by the largest sum collected since economic crisis took hold. The taxes for which the regional government is directly responsible brought in 668 million euros, up by 18% on the 2014 figure of 565 million.

The most significant element of this was the tax for property transfers, with 443 million having been raised on the purchase of used homes, a rise of almost 100 million over 2014. For the finance minister, Catalina Cladera, the increased revenue was an indicator of a generally improved economic climate. "These are positive data which allow us to look forward to this year optimistically."

One has to go back to 2007 to find the record year for tax collection, when there were revenues of some 900 million. After 2007 the amounts began to fall.

The tax on property transfers was not the only one to yield an increase. Inheritance and gift tax revenues rose but not so dramatically to just under 80 million euros, an increase of 7.7%. Wealth tax brought in 48.9 million euros, a rise of more than three per cent, while the tax on gaming produced a slight increase to 29.7 million. The only tax for which there was a decline in revenue was the one directed at water purification: this fell by 1.3% to 75.6 million euros.

The general increase in revenues will have a benefit in keeping the government's deficit in check. It will still be greater for 2015 than it should have been, a consequence of the legacy of the previous government which had used up much of the deficit by the time it left office. The final figure is expected to be 1.5%. (The original target had been 0.7%.)

In November the deficit was 0.36%, but that for December is always the worst because of payments still unaccounted for. Cladera believes that the whole-year figure will be 1.5%, though it might yet come down.

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