According to estimates made by the National Observatory on the tourist tax in Italy, municipal coffers will receive 702 million euros in 2023. This is a record level, up 13.4% in 2022, and higher than the pre-pandemic proceeds. The tax has been introduced by 1,013 Italian municipalities, which is also a record number. However, the application rules vary from Municipality to Municipality, and the issues of tax collection relating to holiday homes rented through the platforms and the destination of the resources often used by local authorities for items not linked to tourism purposes still need to be solved.
"The adoption of the tourist tax by more municipalities and the increase (sometimes doubling) of tariffs by many local authorities have led to a boost in collections," explains Massimo Feruzzi, who heads the National Observatory on the Tourist Tax. "Moreover, the decline in tourism has mainly affected the seaside areas, whereas the art cities, which generate the majority of the revenue, have not been affected much," Feruzzi adds. "In addition, foreign tourists, particularly Americans, have increased, and they generally prefer 4 and 5-star hotels where the tax is higher."
Uneven distribution of tourist taxes
The maximum tax ceiling is five euros for the most luxurious hotels, and it decreases as the number of stars decreases. However, this does not ensure the tax is proportional to the stay cost. For instance, an amount of 20 euros per night for four people may weigh much less in proportion than the 9-12 euros paid in lower category hotels when compared to five-star hotel rates. In the 2023 maneuver, municipalities with a tourist influx 20 times greater than residents were allowed to double the threshold and bring it to ten euros.
Five cities (Rimini, Venice, Verbania, Florence, and Pisa) can do this, as the average tourist attendance for the three years 2017-2019 should be considered for 2023-2025.
Florence has decided on a tax increase, which raises the ceiling to eight euros. Ad hoc legislation is planned for Rome, so the current fee of seven euros will rise to ten from October 1, making it the highest in Italy. In the Italian capital, the Observatory estimates revenue will reach 159 million by the end of the year, up from 132 million in 2022.