Thursday, May 23, 2024

More Algarve tourist taxes coming in

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With the entry into force of the tourist tax collection, last Thursday, Portimão became part of the group of municipalities in the Algarve that receive a fee for tourists’ overnight stays in the municipality, together with Vila Real de Santo António, Faro and Olhão.

In May, Albufeira is also scheduled to join this group of municipalities, after the Council completes the process of approving the municipal regulation for the application of the tourist tax in the municipality, the proposal of which was under public consultation until February.

The municipality will also have to incorporate contributions collected during the process into a final proposed regulation, which will be put to a vote in municipal bodies, before publishing the notice of its final approval in the Official Gazette.

“The expectation is to start charging the tourist tax in May”, the mayor of Albufeira, José Carlos Rolo, told Lusa, acknowledging that in April it will no longer be possible to complete the necessary steps for the municipality to receive two euros per night in the municipality from tourists aged 13 and over.

In the notice of approval of the tourist tax regulation in Portimão, a unit value of two euros per night is stipulated in the high season, from April 1st to October 31st, and one euro per night stay in the low season, from November 1st. on March 31st.

The proposed regulation put forward for public discussion by Albufeira City Council also provides that the tourist tax has a value of two euros, but will only be charged between April and October, the peak season for tourism in the Algarve.

The amount raised by municipalities is intended to support expenses and investments related to tourist activity, such as environmental sustainability, promotion, preservation of historical heritage, cultural entertainment, beach cleaning or maintenance of public equipment.

The tourist tax applies to people staying overnight in tourist resorts, local accommodation establishments, campsites and caravan parks.

Tourist enterprises will have to collect the fee and deliver it to the municipality, under penalty of administrative penalties ranging from 500 to 10,000 euros, for natural persons, and from 1,000 to 20,000 euros, for legal entities, according to municipal regulations.

The values increase to between 1,000 and 20,000 euros, for natural persons, and to between 2,000 and 40,000 euros, for legal entities, if the fee is not charged to the municipality, they point out.

Before being in force in Portimão, the tourist tax was already charged in other municipalities in the Algarve, such as Olhão, Faro or Vila Real de Santo António.

In 2019, the Algarve Intermunicipal Community (AMAL) approved the introduction of a tourist tax in the 16 municipalities that make up the district of Faro and, in 2023, spoke out in favor of charging a “common value” in all municipalities in the region , setting it at two euros per night.

Vila Real de Santo António was the first municipality in the Algarve to charge a tourist tax, in a process that began in 2016 and led to the charging of one euro per night.

Faro started charging 1.5 euros per night in February 2020, before the start of the covid-19 pandemic, which led some municipalities to suspend its introduction, such as the cases of Portimão or Olhão.

Olhão would end up starting to apply the measure and charging two euros per night in May 2023, while Portimão began to benefit from the amount raised from tourists’ overnight stays this Thursday.

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