Inma Benito of the Majorca Hoteliers Federation is convinced the challenge to the tourist tax will succeed. | Pere Bota


The Balearic High Court has ruled as admissible the appeal by the Majorca Hoteliers Federation for legal review of the tourist tax.

The appeal was lodged on 16 September and refers specifically to the decree of 23 June for regional government application of the tax for "tourist stays" from the start of July.

Now that the court has accepted the appeal, the government (its cabinet) is obliged to forward all administrative records related to the processing of the tax regulation. It has twenty days in which to do this.

Inma Benito, the federation's president, says that it has never agreed with the content or form of the tax. "We are convinced that we will succeed because we have sufficient grounds to believe that the whole decree has a number of weaknesses."

While the law (the sustainable tourism tax law) remains in force, the federation "will of course comply with it", she observed, stressing that the federation will continue to work with the government so that "we provide the maximum value we can to all other initiatives that allow us to continue with the virtuous circle of investment and to continue to improve the welfare of society though a plan of global competitiveness".

The court has appointed the judge Alicia Ortuño to consider the case and advises interested parties that they will have the option to represent themselves.

The federation lodged a similar appeal against the old ecotax. That was dismissed by the court, so this latest decision might suggest that there are firmer grounds for legal challenge than there were fourteen years ago. For the time being, given what the federation has said, there would appear to be no suggestion of seeking a suspension of the tax.

Reaction to the court's decision has been predictable. PSOE's parliamentary spokesperson Andreu Alcover regretted that the appeal had been lodged, saying that there had been sufficient agreement for the tax. "We expect that justice will be done and that the tax will still go ahead."

Laura Camargo of Podemos was more vocal. The hoteliers, she said, have an "allergy" to taxes. "First it was the Panama Papers, now this appeal, which we believe is a disgrace." Podemos, she added, would give the government all its support in "defeating the grand hoteliers in the courts". These are ones, she claimed, who have their money in tax havens and who, rather than contributing to the solution, still want to be part of the problem of the poor distribution of wealth generated by tourism.