Italian Towns Consider User Fees

Sep 21st, 2006, 02:51 AM
  #1  
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Italian Towns Consider User Fees

Greetings all,
Please read the AP story by Maria SanMiniatelli, found in Today's Stars and Strips (the Military Newspaper) found at: http://estripes.osd.mil/ click on the European Edition, for Sept 21/06. A PDF file will save to your PC. Its FREE. On page 28 (scroll down...) there is a story about Italian cities considering an added fee for tourists who stay in Hotels, to pay for "Public Works". They say the money tourists bring goes to restaurants, hotels and museums, not to the city to pay for the essential services tourists use, including Toilets at San Gimignano. Is anyone else as outraged at this as I am? Is Bureaucracy so assinine as to charge for the services residents pay for?
Imagine the city of Chicago charging a user tax to everyone who rented a hotel room for one night to pay for public works. Its absurd and wouldnt be accepted in most places. What do you think? Please, read SanMiniatelli's article, its Associated Press so you might be able to Google it. What do YOU think?
RebeccaYouSee is offline  
Sep 21st, 2006, 03:09 AM
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>>Is Bureaucracy so assinine as to charge for the services residents pay for?<<

But residents pay for them, for residents to use. Not at all unreasonable to expect some form of direct contribution from visitors when there are so many as to overburden local services. For years there's been occasional talk of having to ration admission to whole towns and cities like Venice, for example.

Tourism and tourists aren't necessarily an unmitigated boon.
PatrickLondon is offline  
Sep 21st, 2006, 03:10 AM
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Well, as someone who lives in a tourist area in France (the Perigord) I see towns that have a population, and therefore a tax base of 300 people swell to thousands - even hundreds of thousands - of people in the summer. So there's a lot more use of the roads and other amenities - 300 people don't need acres of parking, and let's face it, public toilets.

So I can see the reason why a town like San Gimigano would consider this. I certainly don't consider it 'asinine.'
Carlux is offline  
Sep 21st, 2006, 03:41 AM
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hmm, i might be mistaken, but i thought there was an added tax on hotel stays that goes to municipal funds here in the US already.
I don't see it as a problem--I'd prefer more clean toilet options and reliable transpo.
It might be annoying to the people who actually live there that there are a bazillion tourists--depends on where you stand I suppose.
kc_the_bum is offline  
Sep 21st, 2006, 03:45 AM
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ira
 
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>Imagine the city of Chicago charging a user tax to everyone who rented a hotel room for one night to pay for public works. <

So what is that 15% room tax added to your Chicago hotel bill - chopped liver?

ira is offline  
Sep 21st, 2006, 04:11 AM
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"Imagine the city of Chicago charging a user tax"

Did you all get an irony bypass operation this morning?
flanneruk is offline  
Sep 21st, 2006, 04:11 AM
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>Imagine the city of Chicago charging a user tax to everyone who rented a hotel room for one night to pay for public works. Its absurd and wouldnt be accepted in most places. What do you think?<

I think it's a lot less offensive than charging a "visitor tax" to fund a sports stadium, which has happened all over the US.
Louie_LI is offline  
Sep 21st, 2006, 04:17 AM
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rex
 
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The levying of "bed taxes" (on hotel rooms) is one of the fairest kinds of taxes I can imagine.

Now let's add a (big) daytrippers' (bus) parking tax, to places like San Gimignano.

Seriously.

Best wishes,

Rex
rex is offline  
Sep 21st, 2006, 04:43 AM
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There was an article a few months back in the NY times that said that SanGim was considering a tax similar to that, Rex.
ekscrunchy is offline  
Sep 21st, 2006, 04:44 AM
  #10  
ira
 
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>Now let's add a (big) daytrippers' (bus) parking tax, to places like San Gimignano.<

Why not, Rex.

Someone has to maintain the parking lot, the toilet facilities, etc, etc,..

Small towns have a small tax base. Why shouldn't the tourists pay for the facilities provided for them?

ira is offline  
Sep 21st, 2006, 04:58 AM
  #11  
bellastarr
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SOmeone here mentioned Venice. In fact the local residents of Venice for years have been facing tremendous problems with basic essentials of life, because of the fact that the government spends so much more on tourist services than it does on housing, schools, and health care. So the polulation of the city is diminishing.

I live and work in heavily touristed areas of my city, and have no problem at all with a tourist or visitor tax. When I return to work this morning, I hope some city workers were paid well for cleaning and mopping up after all the sport fans who swarmed over the area in front of my building last night, which would otherwise be covered wall to wall with "leavings" of various kinds.
I think the "SanGim" tax is a good and fair idea. I think tourists should pay, and local residents should get a hefty discount, just as they do at the parking lot at Molo Beverello in Naples.
 
Sep 21st, 2006, 06:17 AM
  #12  
 
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The hotel tax in Houston is 17% (a good hunk of it goes to pay for a baseball stadium, football stadium and basketball arena). Tourists are considered fair game just about everywhere.
floydvic is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2006, 12:16 AM
  #13  
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So the consensus is that user fees are:
1) A good thing because they help defer the cost to the city for those services that tourists specifically use.
2) Will not stop tourists from visiting these places and staying in these hotels.
3) Will not cause a surge in camping as people avoid the fee.

Thanks for all of your valuable insights and inputs. ;-) I love this forum.

Cheers
A Canuck in Naples with her sailor.
RebeccaYouSee is offline  
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