The announcement of an increase in the sojourn tax and taxes caused an avalanche of dissatisfaction

first_imgRecent announcements of an increase in the amount of sojourn tax and income tax for next year for household accommodation service providers have triggered an avalanche of dissatisfaction.The system of the Croatian Tourist Board from year to year “collects” higher revenues based on increasing capacity and traffic. Thus, in 2015, HRK 410 million was earned, in 2017 HRK 463 million, and in 2018 it is planned to “take” HRK 540 million. But even that is not enough, so new increases in the sojourn tax are planned for 2019. How is that money distributed? How does he return to the guest? Which of these money has a real function of “improving the living conditions of tourists”? Numerous unanswered questions arise. On the other hand, the eVisitor records lack more than 100 non-commercial tourist facilities – apartments and holiday homes, “cottages”. With this title alone, the system loses more than 000 million kuna in fees annually.Every kuna of sojourn tax should be used for the benefit of the guest who pays it, both in commercial and non-commercial accommodation. waste disposal is not at the required level of development, so they often collapse during the peak tourist season. Huge allocations for sojourn tax, income tax, for utilities obviously don’t end where it should. But that is why new price increases are announced “because tourism is doing well”.Increase in feesThis is a classic spin: “We haven’t raised your tax for a long time, so we have an excuse to do it now. “. However, with each increase in the tax burden, in addition to the calculation of higher revenues, the proposer is obliged to answer some more questions for taxpayers.People who pay taxes have the right to know how that tax is spent, how the tax increase will affect the improvement of the social standard in the community, and finally, how that tax money will be returned to them. To some, tax contributions seem ridiculous, but it is not at all ridiculous that citizens paid HRK 140 million to the state treasury last year on the basis of personal property, and the same amount to the CNTB system. In the last few years, we have been paying 10 to 15 million kuna more into these “cash registers” every year.What did we get from that money?New restrictive laws, abolition of boarding houses in the household… This year there are not even symbolic incentives for the construction of swimming pools. Finally, the old rule “less is more” is known for taxes, ie a milder tax burden has a positive effect on the legalization of activities and thus on an increase in the volume of total tax revenues. And vice versa.Otherwise, the average number of beds in family accommodation is 6,6, the average income per household is 50.000,00 kn. For comparison, the average civil servant has an annual income from a net salary of HRK 84.000,00 and his gross salary and various allowances “cost” taxpayers HRK 120.000 per year. Thus, for one annual salary of a tax bureaucrat, the annual income of almost three households of family accommodation is required.Whose taxpayer money is it?Obviously, our society is still not at the level of democracy when the government manages public finances for the benefit of the people and under the mandate of voters-taxpayers. Our politicians live in a “parallel universe”, completely separated from the people. Eventually they see a statistical average and those who “stick out” above the average. As 50% of the population really lives, 2/3 of the citizens of the service provider are accommodated in the household – they have no idea. That is why this exodus of the population is happening.Tax policy makers should finally “bite the sour apple” of structural reforms. They are constantly revolving around tax reform with the main task of feeding the (too) bulky state, public apparatus. The public apparatus is completely inefficient. Croatia is losing its permanent population, reproductive and working population at such a pace that we are left without 100.000 inhabitants a year. All measures taken should have the priority effect of halting the demographic erosion of society. Raising the tax pressure on a small man who is bigger with one leg outside Croatia is certainly not a good move. Unless the goal is exactly that – to free a beautiful country from (superfluous) population.Non-commercial tourist facilities out of controlAccording to the Croatian Bureau of Statistics, Croatia has 180.000 weekend facilities on the coastal belt and islands. According to the average capacity of 4 beds, the total capacity of these facilities is 720.000 beds (data from 2016). This is significantly more than categorized accommodation. Despite the legal obligation of the owner of a weekend facility to register and deregister persons staying in such a facility via the e visitor system, last year a total of 12 million overnight stays in weekend facilities or 16,6 overnight stays per bed were recorded. This means that weekend facilities are used for an average of 2 weeks. Having in mind the amount of investment in such facilities, this information is not very credible.Considering that the legal obligation for each owner of the facility and members of his family is to pay the sojourn tax reduced by 70% and for each user, friend who stays with the owner of the regular tax per night, it is clear what the loss of income for all levels of the tourist system local government in this way creates. It is not clear in what way the obligation to report non-commercial tourist facilities to the visitor is created? Categorized accommodation is entered according to the legal obligation based on the categorization. And the cottages?Law on catering activity that produces damageThe Law on Hospitality is in complete contradiction with the incentive measures of demographic renewal. It directly affects the most vulnerable parts of society. People living in economically and humanly devastated areas. This law prevents them from providing food service with accommodation. That is, they are forced to enter an unfavorable system that requires significant investments, appropriate spatial planning prerequisites and creditworthiness.At the same time, Croatian citizens are still insulted that they are not sanitary, untidy, that what we prepare in their homes, in their kitchens is a danger to the health of tourists. But it doesn’t matter if we are a health threat to family members, neighbors, friends than when a tourist appears in the role of a consumer then we become a health threat and that is unacceptable. It is only acceptable if we provide breakfast service. Tourists. Then we are not a threat to health either.The law also forces the poorer sections of the population to borrow from banks if they want to provide accommodation services according to the criteria of the Ministry of Tourism. Not by guest criteria, but by MINT. In general, the very reason for changing the law is unacceptable, unargued, misdirected, in complete conflict with the principles of free market competition. In a word, backward. And all this at a time when we are declared the best hosts of family accommodation in the world, when we have the best holiday homes in Europe, when our guests love us, praise us, recommend us and gladly come back to us.One wonders who is shaping Croatian tourism policy? And at whose expense?Author: Nedo Pinezić, www.nedopinezic.comlast_img

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