The figures are not exact but various indicators suggest that Marbella has more than 200,000 permanent residents. The tonnes of rubbish collected, the number of active bank accounts and the amount of phone lines and internet connections all point to this.
But in terms of getting the necessary funds to run municipal services, what really matters is the number of people registered at the town hall (‘empadronado’)and Marbella only has 145,000 residents on the ‘padrón’. For this reason the council has asked for help from foreign residents’ groups in order to reach a figure of 150,000.
The mayor of Marbella, Ángeles Muñoz, and the councillor for tourism, José Luis Hernández, held a meeting with the representatives of local foreign residents’ associations to inform them about a new council campaign to add people to the register and the benefits that come from being on the census.
Muñoz did not shy away from her objective. “Our goal is to supercede the 145,000 people on the register and reach the figure of 150,000 residents here which will allow us to obtain more finance from central funds and thus more facilities for the town.”
Muñoz pointed out that central funds are given on the basis of resident numbers and with 150,000 residents or more Marbella would move up to the highest possible band of the four.
The mayor added that as much as 40 per cent of Marbella’s popuation is made up of foreigners which is why the council is keen to get foreign residents’ groups on board in the new campaign.
She stated to those at the meeting that it was not necessary to be a tax resident to be on the ‘padrón’ and that, on the contrary, one of the benefits of registering is a large reduction in the IBI or council rates.