Albufeira hotels exempt from paying city taxes

in News · 11-04-2020 12:45:00 · 0 Comments

The Albufeira City Council, which concentrates 40 percent of the region's hotel offer, has agreed to temporarily exempt the hotel industry from the payment of municipal taxes due to the covid-19 pandemic, said the president of the largest sector association in the Algarve.

The president of the Association of Hotels and Tourist Enterprises of the Algarve (AHETA), Elidérico Viegas, told Lusa that, so far, “only the municipality of Albufeira has responded affirmatively” to the request addressed by the association to the Algarve Intermunicipal Community (AMAL) for “the municipalities in the region to temporarily exempt tourist enterprises from paying municipal fees”.

The request of the largest hotel association in the region for the exemption of municipal fees, namely, those associated with the water consumption fee, already accepted by the Albufeira Council, ranges from hotels, apartments and tourist villages, marinas, recreational ports, golf courses, theme parks and casinos.

Elidérico Viegas considered it "understandable" that the remaining municipalities in the region have not yet accepted the temporary exemption from paying those fees - which include urban waste management, wastewater sanitation and water resources - because it is a matter that "has to be approved in a Chamber session”.

"We hope that the remaining municipalities in the region will follow the example of the Albufeira Chamber, exempting hotels and tourist developments in the Algarve from all municipal taxes," said the associative leader.

Elidérico Viegas said that the Municipality of Faro also contacted AHETA reporting the adoption of support measures "that represent aid to companies", but considered that these "are not yet fully meeting" what was required by the association at 16 municipalities in the Algarve.

The request for exemption from municipal fees was made by AHETA to face the “total loss of reserves and revenues” by the tourist enterprises, which were “forced to close, totally or partially, and the activity reduced to zero”, due to covid-19 and the social isolation and restriction measures imposed to halt the expansion of the pandemic.

AHETA stressed that there were also companies "to close due to legal imposition", as in the "case of golf courses, theme parks and casinos", considering that "the most basic justice" was the request made to the municipalities to make the temporary exemption from payment municipal fees, “namely those that are added to water tariffs”.

Asked about the impact of these rates on companies, Elidérico Viegas replied that “it varies” from municipality to municipality, because “water prices are different in each municipality”, but he underlined the importance of using water for companies such as hotels or golf courses.

On Monday, 6 April, AHETA revealed that the hotel occupancy rate in the Algarve fell 45 percent in March from the same month last year to 28.6 percent, stressing that this value was the "lowest ever" for that month.

The same source quantified the decrease in sales volume at 29.8 percent and at “about 60 percent the available supply that ended due to the covid-19 pandemic”.


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