As the only autonomous region in Spain, the Balearic Islands passed a law that allows cities and municipalities to increase property tax on vacant properties by up to 50%. The increase in land tax by municipalities and cities is made possible by a decree of the Spanish central government under Socialist Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez.
According to the "Ley de vivienda", vacant real estate is deemed to be real estate that has been uninhabited for more than two years without any reason justifying vacancy.
Reasons that can justify the vacancy of a property are:
* the property is the second home of the owner
* There is currently a lawsuit about the property
* the property is inhabited or occupied illegally
* The owner had to move away for professional reasons
The government of the Balearic Islands hopes that this measure will bring the uninhabited property to the rental market, thereby slowing down the raging rent prices. According to a statistical survey carried out every 10 years, 71,255 properties were vacant on the Balearic Islands in 2011. This statistic was created at the height of the economic crisis. It is believed that there were more vacant properties then than today. According to estimates by the regional governments, there are today about 60,000 vacant apartments and houses in the Balearic Islands. The largest number of vacant apartments and houses has to show Palma. Allegedly, more than 16,000 houses and apartments are empty in Palma. Other communities in Mallorca with high vacancies are: Calvía, Inca, Llucamjor, Manacor, Santa Margalida and Son Servera.