Tourism tax idea eval­u­ated in Saare­maa

Baltic News Network - - News -

As there have been sugges­tions to in­tro­duce 1.50-euro tourism tax per per­son for the largest Es­to­nian is­land Saare­maa, the Mayor of its largest town Kures­saare, Madis Kal­las, has es­ti­mated that a tourism tax would bring ad­di­tional 1.5 mil­lion eu­ros a year in the is­land’s bud­get.

Es­to­nian pub­lic broad­caster ERR re­ports cit­ing Saarte Hääl re­gional news­pa­per on Sun­day, Au­gust 5, that Kal­las es­ti­mated in an in­ter­view: «This could gen­er­ate ap­prox­i­mately 1.5 mil­lion eu­ros, which could be used to in­crease mar­ket­ing and and or­ga­nize large events.»

While the cur­rent ticket price for a pas­sen­ger ve­hi­cle on the Saare­maa ferry route is just over 8 eu­ros, Kures­saare Mayor elab­o­rated: «The most rea­son­able thing to do would be to col­lect the tax as some­how linked with the fer­ries, should it be im­ple­mented; that would make it eas­ier for peo­ple».

Es­to­nian Min­is­ter of En­trepreneur­ship and In­for­ma­tion Tech­nol­ogy Urve Palo com­mented that said that there was cur­rently no plan to im­ple­ment a na­tion­wide tourism tax, but im­ple­ment­ing a re­gional tourism tax is for mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties to de­cide: «It could be done in co­op­er­a­tion with en­trepreneurs and lo­cal au­thor­i­ties, as, if such a tax is col­lected, it should be clear for en­trepreneurs what will be done in the re­gion in ques­tion with this tax [rev­enue] in or­der to pro­mote tourism».

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