Majorca Property News

Mallorca Real Estate: eco-tax - 60 million euros to seep into the authorities


The controversial eco-tax has given the Balearic Islands in 2002 and 2003 revenues in excess of 92 million euros. The whereabouts of nearly 60 million today is no longer understand

Who pays taxes, wants to know, as a rule like that happens with all that money. The find is not always easy. Prime example is the eco-tax on tourists in the years 2002 and 2003 had to pay on the Balearic Islands. Controversial as it was, one would think that it had been conducted especially meticulous book. But this is not the case. More than 90 million euro, the regional government through this "tax holiday taken. Where this money gone, it is already less than ten years later, barely reconstructed yet.
It is clear that exactly 92,652,408 euros were taken by the eco-tax, as reported by the Balearic Ministry of Finance. 92 million euros - a lot of money. The environment, the protection of cultural property and the promotion of sustainable tourism should get the revenue benefit. A list of dozens of projects submitted to the center-left pact before 2002, which should be executed one by one.
After all, not all projects have been implemented. Thus, the most ambitious project, the construction of an aqueduct to the north of the island failed, even in the planning phase. Even the announced purchase of the townhouse Can Weyler in Palma was not realized until then, and is decided at the end of last year was - but with money from other sources.
), The Balearic Institute of Tourism Strategy (Inestur has maintained much of the money collected by eco-tax. After several inquiries brings the authority - which played in recent days umrühmliche role in the corruption case "Toto" - out at last with a list of the projects that have been funded.
By far the largest item is the purchase of the estate of Son Real in Can Picafort in the north of the island. 17,382,056 euro cost of the purchase of the finca, which is now a museum open to the public. One million total cost is the old army headquarters in Palma's old town, the quarterback d'intendant (3,120,138 euros). This has been sensitively renovated and now houses facilities in the city of Palma.
Rank three of the major investment shows the program "Neteja Platges)" (beach cleanliness. This is according Inestur primarily to finance a fleet of boats that fish in garbage from the sea coast of Majorca. To this end, during the years 2004 and 2005 a total of 2,507,503 euros have been spent.
Another major project was the bike trails on the island. 2,229,354 euros has been invested in road repairs, creation of bike paths and signs.
1,648,295 euros of the cost of purchase and renovation of the estate Sa Coma d'en Vidal in Estellencs. The building is to include in future for the Mallorcan network of hiking lodges.
Total crop up in the list of nearly 30 projects. There was therefore a great need also to public relations. PR activities for a total expenditure of almost three million euros. The smallest item is 232 euros. According Inestur this is the price of an opinion on the value of Can Weyler was - the townhouse, which was not purchased at the end.
All in all, has spent Inestur 33,174,191 euros, which came from the energy tax revenues. But this is only about one third of the total. The greater part has gone into the budget of the Ministries of Environment and Agriculture and the President. There, however, no information is given to the whereabouts of the money. Obviously, it is simply incorporated into the overall budget - although with the eco-tax is always a purposeful use of the money had been promised.
The "Law on the taxation of overnight stays in tourist accommodation establishments" provided for a daily charge, which was in most cases, one euro. Graduated tax was based on the quality standard of the hotel.
After much dithering, lots of negative headlines in Germany, massive resistance from the hoteliers and a dispute which was the then Conservative central government until the Spanish Constitutional Court, the eco-tax was finally introduced in May 2002.
Scharf was the criticism of the tax primarily because the Majorcan tourist industry was already on the ground. The terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001 and the subsequent feeling of crisis had also hit Mallorca difficult and led to a dramatic drop in tourist numbers.
The tourists themselves have seen the eco-tax, however, not nearly as critical as politicians, media, tourism, and many wanted to believe. "German tourists show understanding", ran the magazine as Majorca on 10 May 2002, when the first tourists had to pay the dues. That might also keen to have that in many cases, tour operators or hoteliers took even the tax to their customers or vouchers as compensation expenditures.
A long life was not destined to the eco-tax. The center-left pact was voted out in regional elections in spring 2003 - where the eco-tax would have certainly played a role - the conservative Popular Party PP won an absolute majority. Even during the election campaign, the then PP leading candidate Jaume Matas announced the immediate abolition of the levy, should succeed in the transfer of power.
Quite so quickly but then it was not. It was only decided in October 2003, the Balearic Parliament with the votes of the new government majority, the end of the eco-tax - since the charge was billed on a quarterly basis, was not an earlier withdrawal possible. The Matas-government then entered into a term of mega projects (Palma Arena, Metro) and construction of roads in the island's history.
Just one and a half years, then lasted one of the most controversial projects of recent Mallorcan history. Therefore, the revenues fell short of the target amount. Originally, the Socialist, Francesc Antich had wanted to take 130 million euros within three years.
In fact, it was at the end so much less. Part of the sum on top of the hoteliers have still not paid. More than 15 million euros in mid-December were still pending. Many hoteliers have taken the tax indeed, but transferred to an escrow account pending the outcome of more than 100 court cases against the tax.
Only in May 2009, the hoteliers stated that they wanted to refrain from further action before the Spanish Supreme Court. Therefore, the debts were now paid by and by, a spokeswoman for the Balearic Ministry of Finance.
Overall, the Balearic Islands in 1965 had to overnight operations to recover the tax from their guests.