The hoteliers are challenging the tourist tax, but they didn't get very far when they did so with the old ecotax.

The Majorca Hoteliers Federation has lodged an appeal for judicial review of the tourist tax. This was presented to the Balearic High Court on Friday and it cites the law for the sustainable tourism tax, the legal framework for what is referred to as the tourist tax or ecotax.

The decision to file the appeal came at an extraordinary assembly of the federation last Monday. It has taken account of tax and legal issues identified by the federation's advisors.

The federation's president, Inma Benito, says that this is the first step on what she recognises will be a long road in eliminating the tourist tax. She adds that advice from advisors indicates that there are sufficient arguments that justify taking the matter to the High Court.

Benito explains that from the outset the federation has always been opposed to the tax and that it was a case of obtaining all the necessary information before considering going to court.

The High Court now has twenty days in which to decide whether to accept the appeal or not. If the court does, then the federation will call for all records related to the approval of the tax (by government and parliament) and to its regulation. These will then be presented to the court.

In 2002, the federation lodged an appeal with the High Court regarding the old ecotax. All arguments against it were dismissed by the court. That tax, introduced by the PSOE-led government of Francesc Antich, was opposed by the Partido Popular. After the PP won the 2003 election, one of the first measures it took was to approve the scrapping of the tax.

The current PSOE-led government is said to be "relaxed" about the hoteliers' appeal.