Figures from the national finance ministry indicate that of the twelve out of seventeen Spanish regions for which there is information, the Balearics will this year contribute the highest relative amount for wealth, inheritance, gift and property transfer taxes. The Basque Country and Navarre do not feature because of their separate and specific tax treatment, while Aragon, Asturias and Catalonia have not approved budgets for this year. The information comes from regional government's forecasts.
In absolute terms, the Madrid region will contribute the most tax, but per inhabitant the Balearics come out on top. For inheritance tax there is a Balearic average of 95.7 euros per inhabitant. The national average is 54.8. In the Madrid region it is 69.2 and only Cantabria (87) and Castile and Leon (82.4) come close to the Balearics. In the Canaries the amount is just 10.9 euros per inhabitant.
The revenue from the wealth tax is calculated at 63.8 euros per inhabitant in the Balearics. The national average is only 21.4 euros. Cantabria, with 42.2, is again the closest region to the Balearics.
But it is property transfer which shows the greatest difference, and the gap between the Balearics and the other regions is enormous. The calculation per inhabitant is 558.5 euros. The second highest is Valencia (249.1) and the national average is 186.7 euros. Overall, per inhabitant, the Balearic contribution for these taxes is 718 euros. In Valencia it is 331.4 and in Madrid 295. The national average is 262.9 euros.
Explanations for this vast difference centre on the high number of properties at the top of the range in the Balearics and the taxes paid; on the number of wealthy people; and simply on the level of taxes. The regional finance ministry attributes much of this tax revenue to economic recovery and to the level of property sales activity, especially expensive properties. The minister, Catalina Cladera, is ruling out tax cuts. There won't be any for purely electoral purposes or until the national ministry has clarified what new financing arrangements there will be for the Balearics.
The Partido Popular opposition has said that it will reduce taxes, and it may well look to its colleagues who run the regional government in Madrid. Despite its total tax contribution, there isn't any wealth tax revenue; the regional government in Madrid has opted not to apply it.
* These taxes are all subject to regional decision-making. The revenues remain with the regional administrations, which is not the case with revenue from income tax and IVA (VAT) that, in effect, goes into a state pot for redistribution under the regional financing system, a serious bone of contention for the Balearic government.
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