Tourist tax



The full commission for sustainable tourism stimulus met yesterday. This is the body which ostensibly agrees to how tourist tax revenue is to be spent. The commission's executive committee met last week and approved the spending. This committee is made up of almost two-thirds of the members of the commission. As noted in the Bulletin on Tuesday, the meeting of the committee (and it is the same for the commission) is somewhat pointless. The government has already determined how revenue is to be spent, and the make-up of both is weighed in its favour.

The Majorca Hoteliers Federation and the environmentalists GOB head the list of organisations which are wholly dissatisfied with how projects for tax revenue are decided and how both the committee and commission operate.

The CAEB Confederation of Business Associations is the voice for the hoteliers federation on the commission, and it says that spending has little to do with either tourism or the environment. Instead, the revenue goes towards general public spending, an example of this being the decision to allocate a significant amount of this year's revenue to the building of social housing. (Around 43% of the revenue for Majorca will be used for this.)

The confederation yesterday once more denounced the lack of transparency and the lack of information regarding projects funded by 2016 and 2017 tourist tax revenue. GOB also criticised the lack of transparency and were against revenue being used to pay for housing and infrastructure.

There is a total of 110 million euros revenue to be spent, 41 million of which apply to ongoing projects from previous years. Of the 69 million euros for new projects, 26.2 million will be for social housing and social rented accommodation projects - 153 properties in Majorca (Palma, Calvia and Inca) plus nineteen in Ibiza.

Tourism minister Bel Busquets defended the use of revenue for social housing, as "tourism has a social footprint". CAEB abstained in the voting on the spending decisions. GOB voted against, as did the Arca heritage association, which both believe that the priority objective is the environment.

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