Housing is a government tourist tax priority. | Archive

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The Balearic government has estimated that total tourist tax revenue for 2022 will be 138.8 million euros. The deadline for submitting proposals for funding by the tourist tax was August 31. The government is currently screening these proposals to determine if they meet its spending objectives for the tax in 2023.

The government hasn't put a figure on the amount but says that the total value of all project proposals exceeds the estimated revenue. Final decisions as to which projects are funded will be made by the sustainable tourism commission in a few weeks' time.

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The spending objectives for 2023 give priority to housing, clean energy, the sustainable blue economy, marine biodiversity and marine sciences, biomedicine and health sciences, sustainable mobility, the circular economy and innovation and development.

These priorities certainly aren't pleasing everyone. For example, Josep Melià, the spokesperson for one of the opposition parties, El Pi, believes that the government is in breach of the law that created the tax. "It was not born to build houses but to protect the rural and marine environment. How can it be that the government is breaking the law?" In his opinion, the tax has become a "mixed bag" to cover government budgetary holes.

Melià isn't wholly accurate as the tax has various purposes - the environment is just one. With regard to housing, when the tax was first introduced, it was understood that there were five categories of purpose. A sixth, for social housing, appeared to emerge some time later and took many by surprise.