Amsterdam city council will increase the rate of its tourism tax in a bid to free up an additional €30 million in the city’s coffers, Finance Minister Hester van Buuren announced on Thursday.
Nonetheless, Van Buren said at the launch of Amsterdam’s 2023 spending plan that the tourist tax increase would not have a significant impact on tourist numbers. The city, which is working to reduce the impact of mass tourism, had a windfall of €44 million in tourism tax revenues last year.
The tourist tax brought almost €140 million to the city in 2022.
In its spending plan, the city has allocated €7.5 million as a one-time payment to ensure that the public transport network is not affected by the drop in passenger numbers. GVB, which is wholly owned by Congress, said last month it had to cut services because of rising costs.
As Parole previously reported, €100 million has been set aside for the construction of a bicycle bridge over the I Jay waterway in the eastern part of the city. But the total project will cost at least 300 million euros, and the city hopes the state will help fund it.
A further €10 million will be allocated to reducing waiting lists for youth care services, and €9 million will be allocated to support and provide housing for refugees and other newcomers to the city. “Amsterdam is a welcoming city,” said Van Buren.
Other projects underway include a slave museum (€29 million) and a new theater complex in the New West, whose budget has been cut from €115 million to €97 million. Van Buren said the city will not invest in major renovations of the Paradiso concert hall, except for a €500,000 subsidy for soundproofing.
Van Buren also outlined the city’s priorities for next year, but said no firm budget has been set as other factors affecting the city’s finances are at play. “We must make responsible choices for the city and its financial health,” Van Buren said.
Controversial development plans by private companies Cable car across IJ Mr Van Buren said the waterway was not up for debate and the issue was not raised at all by the city’s executive committee.
Councilors will discuss the plan on June 7th and June 8th.
https://www.dutchnews.nl/news/2023/05/amsterdam-to-increase-tourist-tax-to-shore-up-city-finances/ Amsterdam to increase tourism tax to boost city finances