Romans Worry About Impact of 'Tourist Tax'

Rome has instituted a new tax on tourists aimed at building a fund to restore its crumbling infrastructure. But some worry it will drive tourists away.
January 18, 2011, 10am PST | Nate Berg
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Small business owners are worried that the new tax -- on top of the city's notoriously high costs -- will prevent tourists from coming to town.

"A new bed tax for visitors stipulates that every tourist has to pay an additional €2 per night -- €3 per night in a luxury hotel. State-run museums and boats that ply the Tiber River, like the buses, will also hike their prices. There were months of intense wrangling after Mayor Gianni Alemanno proposed this tax, but it was ushered in quietly just two days before Christmas. The idea is to secure an extra €80 million ($107 million) for the city coffers, which should contribute to slashing Rome's massive debts of more than €9.6 billion ($12.8 billion). Florence is now proposing a similar tax, and Milan may be next."

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Published on Friday, January 14, 2011 in Der Spiegel
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