From the first of July, the basis of the annual tax levied on nautical repair and maintenance companies by the Balearic Ports Authority will be these companies' turnover. This replaces the fixed annual amount and will vary between 1.5% and three per cent of turnover. The difference depends on where work is carried out.
This new system of charging stems from the ports authority's application of the 2010 State Ports Law, and it has caused unrest among businesses which believe that their competitiveness is being risked. One reason is that the charges will be higher than before, with businesses having to pass them on to their clients. Another is that the Balearics is the first region where this system is being adopted.
The new rate was due to have been introduced last year, but it was postponed until July. The president of the Balearic Association of Nautical Businesses, Jaume Vaquer, says that it is being introduced at a difficult time, "as 50% of companies have ERTE in force". Over the months of the crisis there have been hardly any new orders because of restrictions on mobility.
Vaquer describes the new rate as a "significant increase", while the president of the Confederation of Balearic Business Associations, Carmen Planas, says that applying the rate now is "an error". She also points to its "bureaucratic complexity". "Companies are sinking in a sea of doubts and don't know how they are going to have to pay the rate."