Council rakes in on terrace bar taxes in Alicante

BARS and restaurants in Alicante city have boosted council coffers by €464,264 in terrace taxes, up more than 50 per cent in four years.

In 2009, 700 establishments in the city were authorised to have tables and chairs on the streets, eith the council raking in €300,000 a year in taxes.

Now, four years later and, despite the deepening economic crisis, the activity has grown with 1,014 establishments now having permission to extend on to the streets,  an increase of 45 per cent.

The growth is partly being accredited to the smoking ban which came into effect on January 1, 2011, which meant more bars and restaurants were asking to expand their premises outside.

However, the increase has not been welcomed by several neighbourhood associations who have criticised the take over of the city’s plazas and historic streets to the detriment of pedestrians, saying the authorities are simply boosting funds.

However, councillor Garcia Pertusa rejected this criticism. He said: “The city is sensitive to the rest of the neighbours and noise controls are in place.” He added that the tax rates are lower than neighbouring towns.

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