TOURISM TAX SPAT

Costa Blanca News (North Edition) - - FRONT PAGE - By Dave Jones djones@cb­news.es

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?

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