18 May 2020
Municipal Assembly approves new exemptions from the payment of the municipal tourist tax

The Municipal Assembly of Porto approved, on May 18th, the first amendment to the Tourist Tax Regulation, which contemplates the exemption of payment to people in situations of eviction who resort to tourist accommodation. In addition to, the extension of the exemption for the second companion in stays to perform medical acts in the city.

It should be recalled that these amendments had already been discussed and approved in January, having subsequently been subject to a period of public consultation, whose period elapsed between January 22nd and March 3rd, when the Portuguese Association for Consumer Protection (DECO) was consulted.

This review appears two years after the entry into force of the Regulation of the Municipal Tourist Tax of Porto (TMTP), allowing the adaptation of the document to legislative changes that have occurred in the meantime, as well as better defining some rules related to aspects such as inspection and administrative offenses.

As part of this review, the Municipal Tourist Tax, which is currently two euros per night, remains unchanged. The fee charged to visitors who stay overnight in Porto came into force on March 1st, 2018 and applies to guests over 13 years old, up to a maximum of seven nights in a row.


Suspended containment zones to mitigate the sector's double penalty

At a previous point in the session of the Municipal Assembly, the Local Accommodation Regulation and the respective containment areas were revoked, considering the current moment of "stopping a large part of the world economy" and, in particular, tourism. 

For the City Councillor for Economy, Tourism and Commerce, Ricardo Valente, what is intended through this initiative is not to "deregulate the activity of Local Accommodation", as the reinforcement of inspection approved in the previous point demonstrates, but to translate in practice the understanding of that "public policy must adapt to the circumstances" and, as such, "the containment zones no longer make sense at this time".

In general terms, this measure removes constraints to the market and prevents individuals who operate the Local Accommodation business (which in Porto represent 48% of this market) to see their tax increase by 43%, as provided for in the State Budget. 2020. In Porto, the containment zones were defined street by street, which would lead, in the current scenario, to a huge fiscal inequity even within the same street between the different local accommodations.

With the revocation of the containment areas, the municipality is pursuing a policy of anti-cyclical and anti-austerity measures, and the Municipality is already working on the creation of tourist sustainability zones.

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