The City Tax, known as the tourist tax, implies the payment of €two per overnight stay in the high season, i.e. between April 1st and September 30th, and half in the low season, between October 1st and March 31st.
In 2019, the Council of Vila Nova de Gaia collected about €1.2 million from the City Tax, while in 2020 the council expects to collect about €2.5 million.
In a statement to the Lusa agency, Eduardo Vítor Rodrigues admitted that the City Tax earned "less than expected" last year.
"The outlook implied higher revenue than we ended up receiving in 2019”. The economic study included the expectation of seeing some three or four new hotels start operating in 2019, which did not happen.
The mayor said he will "launch inspections" of local tourist accommodation," pointing out that "there may be hundreds of houses in Gaia that don't follow the rules.
Eduardo Vítor Rodrigues announced that containment areas are being defined and that "through the water bill, an attempt will be made to verify whether consumption values are of local lodging or of a normal residence.
He considered it "undeniable that the growth of tourism in the area brings enormous benefits to the economy", but he noted that "it is also true that the impact of this growth in the number of people visiting the city also causes some less positive impacts".
"The tax helps to compensate the expenses on tourism in the city for example, in activities related to tourism or in the support given to tourists, in their safety, etc., but also in the maintenance and rehabilitation of public space", said the mayor.