The Municipality aims to increase the tourist tax, ie the tax payable by tourists who sleep in the city’s accommodation facilities. The goal is to raise it from 5%-6%, but above all they plan to eliminate the system used by hotels and B&B’s (this relates to a series of scales that provides a rise in expenses from 1.50 euros up to 30.99 euros, and up to a maximum of 5 euros in extra expenses for rooms over 201 euros per night).
In this way, Palazzo d’Accursio plans to recuperate even more funds for their kitty. In the 2019 budget there are 4.7 million euros, whereas 5 years ago it was only 3.1 million. These monies by law must, however, be reinvested in cultural projects and territorial marketing. The proposal had already been proposed last year, but then there was little support for it. It has subsequently reappeared again and communicated to the relevant trade associations via the first of a series of meetings between Councilor for Budget, Davide Conte, and representatives of Federalberghi, Asshotel and Unindustria.
Judging by their reaction, the associations did not receive the news in good terms. As Paolo Mazza, provincial president of Asshotel-Confesercenti explains, “By increasing taxation, we will inevitably lose some tourists who are ultimately the most affected by these burdens.” Regarding the system to calculate the taxes, the changes here too will lead to a considerable outlay for each business. “Each hotel will be forced to change the software dedicated to this service,” underlines Celso De Scrilli, number one for Federalberghi, “it’s not a matter of small change we are talking about but a figure between 2-4000 euros annually.”
To make matters worse adds Mazza, “We have already spent money adjusting to this tax, so now we have to spend even more. In the end we are only tax collectors on behalf of the City.”
For the next proposed meetings, the trade associations will also ask for certainty about the investment of tax revenues: “We want to be sure that they are reinvested in tourist activities and events,” he explains. “We do not like the idea that this money is used to restore structures like the Teatro Comunale, which is certainly important, but this does not benefit tourism in the city”.
The Mayor defended his junta’s decision to raise the taxes by saying that, “The hospitality sector is not being penalized, but rather this will help it.” He clarified his remarks by stating that nobody will be damaged by these actions as their intentions are to invest it back into the city. In any case as he reminded people, “no Bolognese pay this hotel tax and tourists until now have always paid it without any problems.”