10 Jul, 2024 @ 17:08
1 min read

Spain’s junior coalition party Sumar proposes VAT hike for tourist lets in bid to push landlords to offer longer-term contracts

Spain plans nationwide crackdown on tourist flats: Locals will be given the right to veto Airbnb-style lets

SPAIN’S leftist alliance Sumar, which is the junior partner in the Socialist-led coalition government, has come up with a range of proposals for tax rises aimed at tourist apartments. 

The move is designed to reduce the profitability of AirBnB style lets and encourage landlords to offer longer-term contracts to tenants.

To start with, such rentals would be subject to the full VAT rate of 21%. 

Currently they are exempt from this sales tax, unless they offer similar services found in the hospitality sector. 

Read more: Anti-tourism protests reach Barcelona: Thousands of locals take to the streets while ‘sealing off’ hotels and restaurants

Yolanda Díaz, leader of Sumar, in a file photo from 2024.

Sumar is arguing that the tax would be justified due to the negative effects of tourist accommodation, such as driving residents out of neighbourhoods, while traditional hotels or hostels create jobs and have other positive effects on the economy. 

The announcement by the party, which is led by Deputy Prime Minister and Labour Minister Yolanda Diaz, comes at a time of rising tensions in Spain about the tourism sector. 

Recent protests in popular destinations such as Barcelona, the Canary Islands and Malaga have all pointed to the effect that tourist rentals are having on property prices, in many cases putting rents out of the reach of locals. 

Sumar’s aim for now, according to a report in El Confidencial, is for the measures to be debated in the lower house of parliament, the Congress of Deputies.

But the party is also seeking for the proposals to be included in negotiations for the upcoming budget. 

“With the simulations that we have carried out, these measures would bring the profitability of tourist rentals below those of permanent rentals,” explained the economic spokesperson from Sumar, Carlos Martin. 

Simon Hunter

Simon Hunter has been living in Madrid since the year 2000 and has worked as a journalist and translator practically since he arrived. For 16 years he was at the English Edition of Spanish daily EL PAÍS, editing the site from 2014 to 2022, and is currently one of the Spain reporters at The Times. He is also a voice actor, and can be heard telling passengers to "mind the gap" on Spain's AVLO high-speed trains.

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