The present Balearic government will go down in history as the one which introduced a tourist tax. In some ways they should be congratulated because the tax was introduced two years ago with few problems and what is more there was no real backlash. They have got so confident that they have decided to increase the rate of the tax for next year. It appears that few tourists have a problem with paying a surcharge to come on holiday here. I am not in favour of a tourist tax because I believe that there are easier and less controversial ways for the local authorities to raise money and at the end of the day we are not talking large sums. Even with the doubling of the surcharge next year the government will raise 100 million euros, which is just a drop in the ocean when you consider than the Balearic government budget is measured in billions. But, it is too late now; we have a tourist tax and it is paid.
However, I do believe that the government should inform tourists how their tax money is being spent. It might be a good idea to erect a giant billboard at the airport thanking tourists for their contribution to making Majorca a better place. The last thing Majorca wants is to appear unfriendly towards tourists because there could be a backlash. I think the Balearic government could be slightly more thankful to tourists for paying the tax because at the end of the day tourists have spent enough already. Tourists should not be viewed as a cash cow for the local authorities. In the same way that the European Union demands that they get credit for projects they have financed perhaps the Balearic government could give some mention to tourists and their tax which has helped pay for some improvement projects. The tourist tax will continue but I still believe that the Balearic government has to be very careful. Tourists are always looking for value for money and obviously no one likes paying taxes.
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