Fees Exemption
30 November 2020
Porto City Council unanimously approves exemption from municipal fees for economic activities in 2021
The total exemption from municipal fees to establishments and agents of the city's economic, commercial, and business fabric, until December 2021, was approved by every Municipal Executive on Monday morning. The measure has a global impact of around 505 thousand euros on the 2021 budget.

When the intention was announced, the study pointed to a financial impact of 315 thousand euros, but with municipal services now analyzing in detail the impact of each of the associated exemptions with fees directly linked to the city's economic activities, the impact was adjusted to more of approximately 200 thousand euros.

At the meeting, in addition to the announcement made on the Christmas campaign to support traditional street commerce, which the city councilor for Economy, Tourism, and Commerce, Ricardo Valente, noted that is being finalized, the Mayor of Porto, Rui Moreira clarified that, in terms of support to the economic agents, the government would have to go further.

"In Portugal, VAT revenue is practically exclusive to the Central Government. In other countries, cities are having a different involvement, with assistance measures, because they receive a large part of that revenue, which is not our case. It is up to the Government, which has been charging VAT, to take the necessary measures", reinforced the Mayor of Porto who, even so, does not exclude the possibility of the Municipality, within those that are its financial resources, thinking about additional measures, in addition to those that are already in place.

In addition to the exemptions from municipal fees, a 50% reduction in rents on municipal properties for non-residential purposes is also being applied, that is, for commercial tenants (a reduction also extended to tenants of municipal companies).

"We were unable to cover the entire oil slick", pointed out Rui Moreira, also predicting that, until there is an effective recovery in tourism, "it will be difficult to maintain the sustainability of all activities directly linked and related, because many are micro-businesses", responding to councilor Álvaro Almeida, of PSD, who questioned whether additional measures were being considered.

In this sense, the Mayor of Porto concluded that "it was very prudent to postpone decentralization", because many municipalities, replacing the Central Government in response to the pandemic, are experiencing "serious financial difficulties", he noted.

"We have to be very careful in the way we are going to allocate resources", added Rui Moreira.

The installation of catering or beverage establishments, the sale of goods, the provision of services or storage, as well as the public transport of rental vehicles, are exempt from the payment of municipal taxes, as well as the provision of restaurant services. or drinks with a non-sedentary character, in public space, depending on the area of ​​the facilities and the operation period.

On the other hand, the exemption package that can be extended until the end of 2021 includes the issuance of a license to operate tourist circuits, as well as that related to tourism enterprises.

The set of measures approved today unanimously, at the proposal of Rui Moreira, also includes special constructions or installations on the ground or in the subsoil, namely temporary constructions or installations due to celebrations or other celebrations, for trade exercise.

The list of exemptions from municipal fees that will continue in the next year also includes pavilions, kiosks, or other buildings (only buildings referring to those not included in the numbers preceding Article 66 of the Table of Municipal Fees in force, which can be consulted at Regulatory Code of the Municipality of Porto).

As for the special regime for the licensing of esplanades, which has allowed the installation or expansion of 531 terraces to date, it will also be extended for another year, and interested parties must submit the respective request at the Virtual Service Desk (BAV).

Under this regime, Porto City Council allows to increase the areas for the installation of this type of urban furniture, which must meet the criteria defined in terms of dimensions and implantation, in addition to respecting the guidelines and regulations for the restaurant sector, issued by the authorities health and work.

On the other hand, this special and transitional regime allows as possible - in some cases and by checking the conditions of circulation and security - the occupation of parking spaces with terraces.

The Municipality also maintains the possibility of installing terraces in squares, for the use of restaurants, bars, or similar establishments, or of tourist developments located nearby, even if they are not spatially contiguous.

The terraces licensed under this regime must comply with the conditions contained in the titles sent to applicants, including the occupation area, opening hours, furniture to be installed, and capacity.

The furniture to be installed under these licenses is restricted to tables, chairs, umbrellas, and heaters for outdoor use.

The exemptions and refunds provided can only benefit establishments and economic agents whose tax situation is regularized before the Municipality.
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