Lisbon council to pay city’s boroughs €7.86m of tourist tax to clean streets

  • Lusa
  • 20 February 2019

A part of Lisbon's revenue coming from the tourist tax will be allocated to the city's boroughs, to pay for street cleaning. The decision was approved by Lisbon's municipal assembly this Wednesday.

Lisbon’s municipal assembly has approved administrative contracts involving the transfer to the city’s parish councils of €7,858,000 raised from the tourist tax, to pay for rubbish collection and street cleaning.

The conclusion of the contracts with the 24 parishes, whose amounts vary, was approved despite the Communist Party and Greens voting against and the centre-right Social Democratic Party (PSD) and People-Animals-Nature abstaining. All other assembly members, led by the governing Socialists, voted in favour.

The assembly also approved a recommendation that the council “in future inter-administrative contracts engage in prior negotiation with the parish councils.”

It also approved another proposal for the transfer of €100,000 to each parish council, to pay for the collection of waste unduly deposited near recycling points and rubbish bins.

The PSD leader, Luis Newton, said that the proposals were “a lost opportunity” and marked a break with the consensus that has existed so far between it and the Socialists on administrative reform in the city. Other members also expressed regret that the proposal had not emerged from a consensus and a “careful hearing of all the parish councils”.

The amounts involved in the rubbish and street-cleaning contracts with parish councils vary according to the impact of tourist in their area, with the largest amount earmarked for Santa Maria Maior, at €1.3 million, Santo António, at €965,000, Misericórdia, at €955,000, and Arroios, at €815,000.

The smallest amounts to be transferred are €120,000 for each of Ajuda, Areeiro, Beato, Benfica, Campolide, Carnide, Lumiar, Marvila and Santa Clara.

The tourist tax has since the start of this year been levied at a rate of €2 per bed per night for up to seven consecutive nights. The rate was previously €1, from when the tax was introduced in January 2016, but the council executive announced in October that it would double it to fund improvements in rubbish collection and transport in areas under most pressure from tourism.