Ever since the courts declared that the ‘plusvalía’ tax should not be charged if a property loses value, town halls have been searching for different ways to top up their revenue streams.
In both Fuengirola and Mijas, they look set to take advantage of a new bylaw, a proposal set out by the Ciudadanos party at the latest meeting of the full council in Fuengirola, which declares that town halls have the right to charge extra taxes on use of public land by private utility providers.
Both currently receive 1.5 per cent of the providers’ annual takings obtained within the municipalities, as declared in article 24.1 of the Law regulating Local Tax Authorities. However, in the same article, but in subsection ‘a’, local authorities are able to establish taxes for the private use of public land, including pylons, overhead cables, piping and transformers, among other things, on streets and other land in the public domain.
Applying the formula set out by the Spanish federation of municipalities and provinces (FEMP) in the case of the Galician town of Arteixo, the estimated earnings, based on the electricity pylons alone are around 80,000 euros. Adding the figures for gas, water and hydrocarbons, that could rise to 200,000 euros.
The final figure is expected to be much higher, though, given the relative cost of land in Fuengirola.
In the neighbouring municipality of Mijas, which has ten times as much land, the earnings will be much higher. Ciudadanos spokesman in Fuengirola, Javier Toro, assured that “the local government team are in agreement and we are sure that this will go ahead”.
Days after the proposal came to light, officials at Mijas town hall, led by the Cs, took note of the Fuengirola idea and will be launching the proposal at their own next council meeting.
“As public authorities, we have a duty to ensure the public pays less while at the same time we bring in more income. So if the law allows us to tax the multinationals then it’s our obligation to do so,” Toro concluded.