Lisbon City Council wants to increase tourist tax to four euros per night

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Lisbon City Council wants to double the tourist tax, from two to four euros per night, the mayor of the city, Carlos Moedas (PSD), said today, arguing that this increase “is fair” for the city.

“Increasing the tourist tax is fair for Lisbon residents, it’s fair for the city, so it’s a decision I’ve taken, but obviously I want to do it with a great consensus with those who are the most important people in the sector, from hotels to restaurants,” Carlos Moedas told reporters on the sidelines of a visit to the construction site of a new municipal nursery in Lumiar.

The proposal to change the value of the tourist tax in Lisbon will be discussed on Wednesday at a private meeting of the municipal executive and, if approved, will be subject to “a 30-day public consultation period” to collect contributions, before coming into force.

“I’ll always do everything I can to reduce taxes for Lisbon residents, I’ve done it with the reduction in IRS [personal income tax], which we’re already at 4.5% and, by the end of the mandate, we’ll reach 5%, but at the same time tourists have to contribute more to our city,” said the mayor, who governs without an absolute majority.

Regarding what is to be done with the money collected from the tourist tax, Carlos Moedas said that, firstly, it will be used to clean up the city and that part of the money will be used to continue the growth in terms of tourist centers, giving the example of the Royal Treasure Museum, which was paid for with the tourist tax.

According to the proposal, to which Lusa had access, signed by the deputy mayor, Filipe Anacoreta Correia (CDS-PP), who is in charge of Finance, the “numerous challenges” of tourism currently make it necessary to review the value of the tourist tax for overnight stays, set in 2018, as well as the tourist tax for arrivals by sea, set in 2014, “which are proposed to be increased from two euros to four euros and from one euro to two euros, respectively”.

With regard to the tourist tax for arrivals by sea, the amount that is now proposed to be updated, of two euros, is the one that began to be applied this year, with the beginning of the collection of this tax from cruise passengers, which had never been charged before.

The council also suggests including campsites, boat hotels and similar as entities responsible for collecting the tax.

The municipality also proposes the introduction of two new exemptions: declaration of emergency in the context of civil protection or social emergency and national and foreign students entering higher education in the city.

The purpose of updating the tourist tax is to adjust the amount charged to tourists “to the current expenditure of the municipality’s resources, within the framework of the growing expressiveness of tourism and the related increase and improvement of the offer, on a basis of proportionality, weighting and balance”, reads the proposal.

Considering tourism to be “a distinctive factor in the city’s competitiveness and an engine of economic and social growth”, the council stresses the “strong impacts” on public intervention to maintain adequate levels of response.

This requires “defining regulatory policies, and/or direct public intervention, to guarantee Lisbon’s sustainability in economic, social and environmental terms,” he adds.

According to the proposal, “the positive effects of tourism consequently imply the reinforcement of urban infrastructures and the functioning of the city, namely the expansion of public interventions in terms of infrastructures, mobility, urban cleaning, public space, security and the tourist, cultural and leisure offer”.

For the deputy mayor, this is an effort “that should not burden residents, but rather be supported by those who benefit, directly or proportionally, from the goods and services made available by municipal activity”.

The tourist tax in Lisbon began to be applied in January 2016 on overnight stays by domestic tourists (including locals) and foreigners in hotels and local accommodation.

Initially it was one euro per night, but in January 2019 it increased to two euros.

Hervé Hubert
Hervé Hubert
Hervé Hubert is a 55-year-old writer and journalist based in Porto, Portugal. Born in France, he brings a unique blend of French and Portuguese perspectives to his work. Education Hervé studied Journalism and Literature at the University of Lyon in France. After completing his studies, he gained valuable experience working with various French media outlets (Portugal France also). Career He worked for several years as a journalist in France before making the move to Portugal. In Porto, he joined the Portugal Pulse team as a staff writer. Skills Hervé specializes in storytelling, investigative journalism, and cultural commentary. He has a flair for capturing complex issues in a relatable way. Personal Life He currently resides in Porto and enjoys the city's rich culture, from Fado music to Francesinha cuisine. Hervé continues to maintain strong ties to his French heritage, often traveling back to France for family visits and cultural exploration. With his unique background and diverse skill set, Hervé Hubert adds a layered, multicultural lens to every story he covers.

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