BALEARIC tourism minister Biel Barcelo, who has masterminded many of the industry’s transformative changes of late, has described the current legal status of car rental companies across the islands as ‘absurd.’
He believes it is extremely unfair that, because the rental firms are typically registered in Madrid, they can operate without paying a regional tax to the Balearic coffers.
Barcelo hopes to incorporate different, more favourable regulations in a new tourist bill set to come before the regional parliament in 2017.
The present tourism act doesn’t regulate any facet of the industry and, to the government, this represents a huge source of lost revenue.
In a bid to raise money and help usher in a new era of sustainable tourism Barcelo has long advocated higher taxes on visitors to the islands and was instrumental in getting the eco-tax through parliament.
It makes sense that he would want to harness more funds from the incredibly lucrative rental industry but he will surely face hefty opposition from opponents in Madrid and at home.
Next month the eco-tax will come before the courts after an appeal from the hotel industry which is furious with Barcelo’s policies and adamantly oppose his vision for the island.