The council and opposition agree that Palma needs tourist tax money.

04-09-2014

Alvaro Gijón, one of the Partido Popular's councillors in Palma, says that the party will be demanding that the regional government apportions to Palma a sum no less than 10% from revenues generated by the tourist tax. Gijón adds that estimates are for 76 million euros to be raised through the tax in 2017, meaning that Palma should anticipate getting at least 7.6 million.

This demand is to be presented as a motion to the next full council meeting on 25 February, when the PP will also be calling for the direct participation of the town hall in the committee that is due to oversee the allocation of revenues from the tax. "The Balearic capital has sufficient importance and weight for it be part of that committee," argues Gijón.

For the PP, revenues should, among other things, be invested in modernisation projects in Playa de Palma, in water treatment, in the complementary (non-hotel) sector and in cycling routes: the town hall has some one hundred projects that have been set out which could start in the short term. Above all, Gijón bases the party's claim on the fact that almost 14% of all overnight stays in the Balearics are in Palma.

The town hall, for its part, seems to be in general agreement with the Partido Popular's proposal. On membership of the committee for deciding on tax revenue spending, the town hall's spokesperson, Neus Truyol, believes that Palma should have its voice, given that the city has half the population of Majorca and half the hotelier pressure. For these reasons alone, Palma should be a revenue beneficiary.

Truyol adds, though, that any presence on the committee should involve responsible collaboration with the rest of the municipalities and institutions. She says that it is still not possible to define what percentage of tax revenue Palma might get.

The town hall has apparently been talking with the government about being part of the committee. However, there has been no definite proposal as to a percentage of revenue (which the PP would like there to be). "We don't believe that it would be fair for there to be determined percentage. It would depend on the type of investment and would have to be equitable with distribution to all the island's municipalities and indeed the other islands. It would further depend on which projects are presented annually." Truyol points out that although the subject has been discussed on various occasions, no decision has been taken as to how investment from the tax revenues might be made in Palma.

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Steve Riches / Hace over 2 years

Generally before imposing a tax you identify a need which the tax will fulfil. Here, it goes the other way round: a tax is to be imposed, then everyone fights for a share of the money it raises (or hopes to raise)...and STILL nobody has even begun the work out the cost of collecting it, or of putting in safeguards to prevent the usual fraud where lots of it just "disappears". Nonsense compounded upon nonsense, and the clear message to tourists is that your hard-earned money is to be taken away from you before you get a chance to spend it.

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