Més and Podemos feel that an increase in the tax will help ease tourist overcrowding. | Miquel À. Cañellas

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Two of the parties that from the coalition government in the Balearics - Més and Podemos - are seeking an increase to the tourist tax next year and want this to be reflected in the next budget.

As far as the 2023 budget is concerned, however, the item for tourist tax is based on 2022 revenue. The bill that parliament approves for the annual budget would therefore have to include the intention to increase the tax, revenue from which would then apply to the 2024 budget.

The Podemos secretary of organization, Alejandro López, says that this is a subject that will be addressed at an upcoming meeting of the party so that it is incorporated as one of the proposals that must be negotiated within the framework of next year's budget. López believes that the time has come to apply a higher rate for the main season, i.e. June to September.

Més agree with the need to raise the tax, the proposal for which is at an embryonic stage. There is nothing firm as yet, though one option being spoken about would see the current top rate (four euros per person per night for four-star superior and five-star accommodation) increase to six euros. The lower tariffs would presumably also rise accordingly.

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The two parties believe that an increase in the tax would give a clear message to the people of the Balearics, who have had the sensation of saturation this summer. They feel that this increase would help to contain overcrowding during the summer months and would also discourage "tourism of excesses".

The third party in the coalition and the main partner, Francina Armengol's PSOE, haven't said anything about an increase as yet. The Més and Podemos positions would seem to have a clear eye on next May's election and also on agreements between the three parties, assuming that they are able to continue their coalition after the election. It might be recalled that the introduction of the tourist tax in 2016 was a negotiating device by Més when it came to forming a government in 2015; PSOE had never particularly wanted the tax.

As to an option of raising the tax between June and September, this would create an additional element to the current system. The higher rates apply between May and October, while the lower rates (a quarter of those in "summer") are from November to April.

When it was introduced in July 2016, the top rate in summer was two euros. The summer rates were then doubled in 2018.