By Euro Weekly News Media • 08 October 2016 • 13:00
TOURISM MINISTER: Biel Barcelo.
BALEARIC tourism minister Biel Barcelo, who has masterminded many of the industry’s transformative changes of late, has described the current legal status of car rental companies across the islands as ‘absurd.’
He believes it is extremely unfair that, because the rental firms are typically registered in Madrid, they can operate without paying a regional tax to the Balearic coffers.
Barcelo hopes to incorporate different, more favourable regulations in a new tourist bill set to come before the regional parliament in 2017.
The present tourism act doesn’t regulate any facet of the industry and, to the government, this represents a huge source of lost revenue.
In a bid to raise money and help usher in a new era of sustainable tourism Barcelo has long advocated higher taxes on visitors to the islands and was instrumental in getting the eco-tax through parliament.
It makes sense that he would want to harness more funds from the incredibly lucrative rental industry but he will surely face hefty opposition from opponents in Madrid and at home.
Next month the eco-tax will come before the courts after an appeal from the hotel industry which is furious with Barcelo’s policies and adamantly oppose his vision for the island.
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In 99% of cases, taxation should be paid at the place that the taxable amounts are generated. Sr Barcelo is correct, and a “simple” modification to the tax laws is long overdue as with the alleged scandals with Starbucks, Google etc. The spanish car rental industry has a bad enough reputation already with reported “scams” used on their customers without them having another avenue to take to increase their income at the expense of tax payers.
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