Lisbon to double tourist tax

 In News

Lisbon City Council is to double its tourism tax from 1 January 2019 to €2 per night.

According to the daily newspaper Público quoting a source from a local Left Bloc party city councillor, Lisbon Câmara will increase the tax to help pay for city cleaning and rubbish collection and improve transport in a city all of which have been put under increasing pressure from the great influx of tourists over the past two years.

Manuel Grilo, who holds the portfolios of Education and Social Rights on the council said there would be a “100% increase in the tourist tax that will go from €1 per night to €2”.

Last week, the councillor told the newspaper that he thought the charge hike should be included in the city’s budget for 2019.

“This is a measure that we have been fighting for and is essential given the deterioration in city cleaning and also transport pressures, particularly in those neighbourhoods most affected by this phenomena,” he said.

In the first half of 2018 the AirBnB platform collected €2.6 million in Tourist Tax from Lisbon, delivering a total of €8.1 million to Lisbon Council since an agreement was signed in 2016 between the platform and the council.

Approved in 2014, the Municipal Tourist Tax (Taxa Municipal Turística) began to be applied in January 2016 covering hotels and bed & breakfast establishments with a charge of €1 per night up to a maximum of €7.

In 2017 Lisbon Council raked in a total of €18.5 million from the tax. This year an agreement was signed with Porto City Council which began charging a tourist tax from April this year.

Between April and June this year Airbnb has handed Porto Council at total of €963. On 1 March the Porto Tourist Tax charged at a rate of €2 per night began to be applied on guests over the age of 13 for a maximum of 7 nights to “mitigate the impact of the footprint from tourism on the city’s infrastructure and services.”

Manuel Grilo argues that the €2 a night rate is “in line with charges practised in other European capitals” and adds that it wouldn’t bother him if the “rate was further increased”.

In the holiday region of the Algarve the introduction of a €1.5 tourist tax has proved more controversial with local municipal authorities wanting to introduce charges but facing stiff opposition from hotelier associations despite the measure bringing in an estimated €20 million per annum in revenues.