TOURISM TAX SPAT
THE RULING coalition in Valencia is at loggerheads over a proposal to create a specific tax for tourists visiting the region.
The charge on accommodation is already levied in Cataluña and the Balearic Islands, with supporters of the initiative in Valencia arguing that it has not affected tourism in these regions.
A vote was held last Thursday night in the regional parliament over the issue.
The initiative brought by the Podemos party asks the coalition government in Valencia to consider setting up the task.
It was approved with the votes of Compromís, Podemos and four independent deputies, with the ruling Socialists (PSOE) abstaining and the Partido Popular (PP) against it.
The coalition which is made up of PSOE and Compromís will now have to consider the request.
However, director of tourism in the region, the PSOE’s Francesc Colomer has continually argued against the creation of such a tax. As a result, the proposal has not yet been included in new tourism legislation which is currently going through the regional parliament.
Podemos deputies have argued that the money generated from the tax could be used to improve infrastructure in the region and the development of the tourism in- dustry.
In Cataluña the tax is paid on tourist accommodation on a sliding scale.
A visitor staying in a fivestar hotel pays an additional €2.25 a night and those pitching a tent in a top-end campsite €0.65 per person.
This is mirrored by city taxes in Europe, with tourists paying up to €4.40 on a topend hotel in Paris and 5% of the price of accommodation in Amsterdam and Berlin,
Should hotel stays attract an additional tax?