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President of the Association of Local Accommodation in Portugal, Eduardo Miranda, says that “this is yet another example of the disastrous way in which Mais Habitação was conceived and implemented”

This Saturday, the Association of Local Accommodation in Portugal (ALEP) repudiated the late publication of the coefficients for calculating the new extraordinary tax, on the eve of the deadline for operators to cancel their registration and avoid payment.

“The Association believes it is absolutely unacceptable and not at all transparent to publish a fundamental piece of information so that operators in the sector can analyze the viability and continuity of their business, after the legal deadline (the ordinance should have been published by December 6), on the eve of the deadline for those who want to cancel their LA [Local Accommodation] registration and avoid the CEAL [extraordinary tax] (the deadline was December 30) and in the middle of the festive season, when people are away and town halls are closed,” ALEP said in a statement.

The urban pressure coefficients used to calculate the extraordinary contribution on local accommodation (CEAL) were published in the Diário da República on Friday night, in a decree that came into force today, thus allowing the new tax to start being applied.

For the president of ALEP, Eduardo Miranda, “this is yet another example of the disastrous way in which Mais Habitação was conceived and implemented”, the first sign of the “legal and procedural chaos caused by this package in the local accommodation sector” being the delivery of the Proofs of Activity three weeks ago.

The association also said that it will analyze with its legal advisors the legal implications of the government’s failure to meet the deadline, reiterating its rejection of “the way in which a sector that represents 40% of national tourist overnight stays has been treated”.

The measures planned for Local Accommodation (LA) under the national Mais Habitação (More Housing) program, which came into force in September, have been contested by this subsector of activity.

Among the changes introduced in the new law, as far as LA is concerned, are a tax exemption for owners who withdraw their homes from local accommodation until the end of 2024, an extraordinary contribution on the activity and the suspension of the registration of new units outside low-density territories.

In the decree now published, the government stressed that the new extraordinary contribution “places a tax burden on local accommodation establishments (LA), given their negative externalities in the housing market and the social cost, which is aggravated by the shortage of housing in certain urban areas”.

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