So, which members of the Balearic government might favour an increase in the tourist tax? | Joan Torres

Of the Spanish regions, the Balearics have one of the lowest number of their own regional taxes. Only three are being applied this year, which place the Balearics third from bottom among the regions: only Castile-La Mancha and Castile and Leon have fewer. By contrast, Catalonia, for example, has fourteen.

The regional government does not intend to increase the number of taxes, but in order to bring in greater revenue it is looking at the rates of existing taxes. And one of these is the tourist tax. A rise in this was considered when drafting the regional budget for 2017. While an increase was ultimately ruled out, the possibility hasn't gone away.

A number of cabinet members believe that the tax is too low and that increasing it would not only bring in more revenue, it would also dissuade a certain type of tourism. There isn't, however, a unanimous view on an increase among the cabinet.

Any revision of the tourist tax would wait until after the summer and for the process of drafting the 2018 budget. The government will also want to get an accurate figure for tax collection across a full year. The tourist tax was, after all, introduced on 1 July last year, so this figure will have to be for the full twelve months to end-June.

A tax that the government isn't contemplating is one on sugary drinks, which Catalonia has brought in and had been mentioned as a possible tax in the Balearics. A further possibility is a tax on hire cars. The problem with this sort of tax is that it leads to vehicles being registered elsewhere in Spain, as was the case when it was previously mooted.