The Portuguese government has proposed a new extraordinary levy on tourist rentals (AL) as part of its housing program. The bill has been submitted to the National Assembly for discussion and is part of a package of measures aimed at increasing the supply of housing in Portugal.
Portugal proposes a new tax on tourist rentals to finance housing policies
This sector-specific financial contribution will be in addition to existing taxes and levies, and will be specially designed for owners of tourist rental accommodation. It will be calculated according to the profitability of the accommodation, the geographical area and the surface area of the property. According to the Portuguese government, this contribution is intended to offset the negative externalities that the tourist rental business can have on property prices, and to finance housing policies.
The proceeds of this tax will be consigned to the Institute of Housing and Urban Rehabilitation to support the country's housing policies. However, this proposal is not without controversy. Owners of tourist rental accommodation, who have already been affected by business restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, fear that this contribution will further worsen their financial situation.
The government responds to these criticisms by stressing that this contribution is not intended to suppress or discourage the activity of tourist rentalRather, the aim is to balance the social and economic costs of this activity with the benefits it can bring to the tourism sector. The government hopes that this contribution will encourage owners of tourist rental properties to switch to permanent rental accommodation.
This proposed law is part of the national housing program, which aims to improve access to housing for all Portuguese people. The Portuguese government hopes that this sectoral financial contribution will help increase the supply of permanent rental housing in the country and stabilize property prices. However, this proposal continues to generate debate and discussion within the Portuguese National Assembly and civil society in general.
It's important to note that this proposed law is not the first of its kind in Europe. Cities such as Barcelona, Paris and Amsterdam have also introduced taxes on tourist rentals to offset the negative effects of activity on the real estate market and finance housing policies. However, it is also true that many owners of tourist rental properties have protested against these measures, believing that they penalize their business.