A DECREE to scrap the Valencian region’s controversial tourist tax was signed on Friday by president Carlos Mazon and Tourism Minister, Nuria Montes.
The tax will cease to exist on Wednesday and could have been applied voluntarily by individual municipalities on hotel and accommodation bookings from 2024.
The levy was passed by the previous left-wing coalition in Valencia and the Partido Popular’s Mazon pledged to abolish it if he won last May’s regional election.
Carlos Mazon said: “The Valencian Community cannot be a social community if it is not a tourist community.”
“We have woken up from a nightmare that should never have started,” he added.
The president suggested that ‘a man from Alicante ran the risk of being charged to visit Valencia or Castellon’.
Nuria Montes described the tax repeal as one of the ‘most exciting’ days of her career after the ‘tremendous injustice’ of approving a tax that ‘never had any type of consensus’.
“It projected an image of animosity towards tourism that has brought so much freedom, wealth and progress with over €4 billion in revenue from the sector so far this year,” she exclaimed.
Montes’ successor as president of the Benidorm-based hotel association Hosbec, Fede Fuster, said the repeal was an act of ‘justice’ towards the tourist sector while the ApturCV tourist apartments association branded the tax as ‘nonsense’.
The economic spokesman for the PSOE socialists in the Valencian parliament, Arcadi España, criticised Carlos Mazon for making a ‘theatre’ out of tourist policy and that he had repealed a tax that ‘does not exist’ and is not applied anywhere.
He said the move would take away decision making from individual councils over whether or not to have the tax while resorts like Benidorm are imposing big garbage tax and IBI property tax rises which will affect tourist businesses.
“A Benidorm bar that paid €800 in taxes will now have costs of €1,400,” Arcadi España claimed.