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The Vila Nova de Gaia Municipal Council has passed regulations to limit Local Lodging establishments and prevent the dislocation of long-term residents from historic neighbourhoods. The city centre and the entrance to the bridge D. Luís I are two of the target areas for the new restrictions. These measures follow on the heels of similar actions taken in Lisbon and other municipalities around the country.
Local Lodging “has not been a problem for the Algarve. It’s being very positive for the economy and urban regeneration,” according to Faro mayor, Rogério Bacalhau. The Algarve’s municipalities have no plans to create quotas or “containment zones” for Local Lodging, a possibility opened by recent legislative reforms. The Algarve concentrates the majority of “AL” accommodations in Portugal, far outweighing Lisbon and Porto combined.
Airbnb, the internet Local Lodging reservation platform, collected and delivered €2,600,000 in Municipal Tourist Tax during the first six months of the year, reaching a grand total of €8,100,000 raised on behalf of the Lisbon Council since the tax began in January of 2016. In 2017, the aggregate holiday let levy revenues came to €18,500,00 taken in by the country’s capital city.
The levy on holidaymakers will be applied to all guests over the age of 13 who stay up to 5 consecutive nights in hotels, apartments, villages and tourist developments, campsites or local lodging establishments in the municipality of Óbidos. The town council hopes to collect ±€200,000 annually in fresh revenues with the new charge.
AL Business owners may now find higher water bills in their mail boxes. Once local councils find out that a property is engaged in local lodging, they can reclassify the business, instead of “domestic” or “comercial” as “diversos”. In this case, the water costs more than for a private residential property. One consideration which may justify the increase is the fact that AL creates more rubbish and waste water, and as a result, the City Hall has to increase these basic services.
The district of S. Cruz, Madeira, created an “Ecotaxa” on all tourist accommodation, including Local Lodging. The cost is 1 € per person per night (only for guests over the age of 18) and the maximum per person and stay is € 5.
The levy is supposed to be paid as of January 2016: The City Hall provides a form which is to be sent to them until the 10th of each following month. The Council then issues a payment order, and the property owners have 30 days to pay the amount.
The issue is being contested by the Chamber of Commerce and the big hotels in S. Cruz, they hold the levy to be unfair since it is not applicable to the whole island. The issue has gone to court.