Those who live and work in Lisbon like tourists who visit the Portuguese capital. More than 90% of the population favours the presence of tourists. In addition, the contribution of tourism to the economic activity of the Lisbon Region is significant. In 2015 it amounted to 8.4 billion euros, corresponding to an average annual growth of 8% over the previous 10 years according to a survey by Intercampus and Deloitte Studies.
Cascais began charging a Tourist Tax of €1.00 per night as of 01 February 2017. The City Council estimates a minimum first year income of €1.2 million. Initially the proposed charge was to be €1.50, but the final levy was set at €1.00 per night, up to a maximum of five nights.
In 2016, the 1.6 million inhabitants of Barcelona were “overwhelmed” by more than 32 million tourists who “overloaded the city”. The City Council has approved legislation to limit the influx of tourists after more than 25 years of intense promotion of the city as a tourist destination. The plan will only have an impact after 2019. The tourism industry opposes the new plan, which says that the legislation “demonizes tourists.”
Lisbon, the city that pioneered the levy in Portugal, charges 1 euro on each night in the capital. The assessment brought more than 11 million euros to Lisbon in just 10 months. Vila Real de Santo António and Cascais are set to follow the example in 2017. Porto also contemplates launching a Tourist Tax but only as of 2018. Aveiro attempted to implement the measure in 2013, but a year later, suspended the fee.
The Municipality of Cascais will begin charging a tourist tax as of February 1st. All overnight stays in hotels, hostels and local lodging establishments will be subject to the charge of one euro per night, up to a maximum of five euros per stay.
Local Lodging has the potential to unlock untapped financial resources from home ownership. Three out of four Portuguese nationals own their own homes (74.9%). Portugal ranks well ahead of many wealthy countries in Europe and around the world in home ownership: Sweden (70.6%), the Netherlands (67.8%), Canada (67.9%), USA (64.5%), France (65%), UK (63.5%), Germany (52.5%) and Switzerland (44.5%). Accentuating these statistics is the fact that multiple home ownership is commonplace in Portugal.
Excess competition coupled with controversies surrounding Local Lodging are beginning to affect prices and occupancy rates. While registrations were still up in 2016, the pace has diminished substantially which slowed from 200% in 2015 to just 8% last year.
With wintertime coming, many property owners may want to take the easy road and accept long term rentals (more than 30 days) from tourists who wish to enjoy the Portuguese climate during the winter.
This is not Local Lodging but long term rental. A written contract has to be drawn up and registered with the TAX Office. Owners under the age of 65 have to issue monthly electronic receipts. All owners have to send a Summary to the Tax Office after the period has finished. In the tax declaration, this income will be declared under Category F, with a tax rate of 28%, In this case, certain costs can be deducted.
Airbnb has capitulated to lawmaker demands over its operations in New York City, agreeing to drop a legal challenge against newly passed legislation. The suit disputed a recent state law calling for fines up to $7,500 for illegally listing short-term offerings on online rental platforms such as Airbnb.
The Rates Supplement (AIMI) will be aggravated to 7.5% for properties registered in offshore companies. The measure is integrated with other changes to the State Budget for 2017. This alteration, together with other modifications to AIMI as well as lower than expected inflation, is intended to help pay for an extra €6 increase in basis pensions, as demanded by the coalition of left-wing parties.