Tourist tax goes to court

The ongoing tug-of-war over the legitimacy of Mallorca’s tourist tax will be settled once and for all by the highest court in the land after a legal challenge by the hotel industry was allowed to go ahead. 

Immaculada Benito, president of the Mallorca Hotel Federation, which has long opposed the tax, filed an appeal on September 16 claiming it would ‘paralyse’ investment. 

Its members are supported by the Confederation of Business Associations of the Balearic Islands who claim the region must be more ‘competitive.’ 

After a ruling on Wednesday (September 29) both parties now have 20 days to submit all their supporting documentation before the court begins its deliberations. 

The government remains firmly in favour of the tax, which came into play on July 1 and over the summer raised €32 million.

Tourists are charged a fee of between 50 cents and €2 each night of their stay. The figure is expected to surpass €60 million next year and the money has already been earmarked for investment in the region’s severely diminished water infrastructure. 

Tourism minister Biel Barcelo said he could not understand the appeal and described the tax as ‘irreversible.’ 

Also known as the ‘eco-tax,’ a similar levy was implemented in 2001 but reversed by the conservative government two years later following intense pressure from hotel industry and business lobbyists.

 

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