Rental demand in Palma is at an all-time high. | Miquel A. Cañellas


Aptur, the association that represents holiday apartment rentals (and rentals of other types of property), has called for there to be a moratorium of two months on the payment of the tourist tax as it applies to holiday apartments. These properties are at present not "regularised" by the tourism law, and so the association is asking both the regional tourism and finance ministries to exempt them until the law has been amended.

As the tax comes into effect on 1 July, the tourism law will not have been changed. It is anticipated that it may well be by late August - parliament has agreed a timetable for its approval by then. Aptur's director, Irene Perelló, accepts that taxation exists and has to be paid, but in the case of the tourist tax is wanting a delay. There is an inconsistency, she says, if there is a demand for its payment when properties themselves are not regulated by law.

The introduction of the tourist tax has generated a great deal of uncertainty among apartment owners who rent out their properties for holiday purposes. Perelló explains that owners fear that if they pay the tourist tax - as they are required to collect it - they will then be fined by the tourism ministry for engaging in an unregulated activity.

Aptur is remaining in permanent contact with the government and has held several meetings to inform members as to the implication of the tourist tax and of demands for tax declarations. The tax agency in the Balearics is saying that it isn't interested in whether a rental is legal or not, adding that it can only access data for properties that are actually regulated. It says, though, that it would demand payment of the tourist tax for an illegally rented apartment but that the tourism ministry would have first initiated an inspection.