This is how we spend the City Tax money

Does the tourist tax increase or decrease incoming tourism? This was the most common question in 1988, when the tax was abolished also for fear of losing tourists visiting during the 1990 World Cup. Today that question is no longer in vogue. The practical data speak clearly and show a national revenue of 702 million for 2023, a real economic turning point for the tourism sector in the Bel Paese from North to South.

It is really difficult to know from the Municipalities exactly how much the tourist tax collections amount to because the taxes often end up in the municipal budget. However, Venice, Florence and Matera show growing data: Venice goes from a collection of 38 million euros in 2023 to a collection forecast of 37 (the data is precautionary) for 2024, Florence goes from 71 to 77 and Matera from 1 .8 to 2 million. But how will the money collected be spent in 2024? Will they be allocated to interventions and investments strictly linked to tourism or will they also cover expenses that instead affect the entire city community?

There are few cities that manage to keep a separate account on the use of funds collected from the tourist tax, money that ends up in the single coffer of all municipal revenues together for example with the IMU, fines, waste tax but some councilors they explained to us in detail what these millions are for which until a few years ago, we repeat, did not enter the budgets of the municipalities.

Florence is focusing on services for the use of cultural and environmental assets with an intervention of 15 million euros, on the maintenance of the arboreal heritage with 8.4 million euros, on cultural events with 1 million euros, but above all on local public transport with 35 million euros. Matera's budget councilor, Arcangelo Colella, looks at the data with satisfaction. “In 2023 the collection of the tourist tax approached 2 million euros and the most significant data concerns the expenses incurred for green areas and urban decoration. Thanks to greenery management planning, we only used 133,000 euros of the total proceeds. Consider that in 2018, 370,000 euros were spent on grass mowing. It is clear that the more interventions are planned, the more effective they are. For 2024 we expect a collection similar to that of 2023 and we intend to invest sums also for the recovery and maintenance of cultural assets because the city of the Sassi can live from tourism and our heritage must be protected”. In Venice, the budget councilor, Michele Zuin, is betting everything on tourism. “Everything here is tourism. With us there is always a logical thread, direct or indirect, which connects to the tourism sector and the events are real attractors. Last year we organized the First Crafts Fair and in September we will propose it because these are the events that attract tourists. For example, this year the fourth edition of the boat show will be held, which is a very popular event. As is easy to imagine, the historic center of Venice is not easy to manage and for this reason we are keen to allocate a good part of the tourist tax proceeds to the control and protection of the historic center and to municipal police operators. Then, the presence of the “guardians” should not be underestimated. They are the ones who give indications on how to behave in order not to damage the city's assets. The tourist tax contributions intended for the Venice Carnival, the Redentore during the summer and the historical regatta are important. But, you have to be careful because the money collected with the tourist tax is also dedicated to apparently trivial, but in reality very important, activities. I am referring to the installation of the walkways, which represents an intelligent puzzle to be built in times of emergency to keep the city alive when the water is high.”