Madeira threatens to tax hotels that close for winter

Madeira is to discuss a plan to penalise hotels that lay-off hundreds of workers every winter.
The plan – aimed for its holiday island of Porto Santo – involves creating new taxes and hitting hotels where it hurts most: their profit margins.
As Porto Santo Mayor Filipe Menezes told Lusa news agency, the island’s hotels are exempt from paying rates and other taxes because they create jobs and help ‘develop the island’. If they close every winter throwing a spanner in the works of the local economy, they should not benefit from any kind of taxation breaks.
“They shouldn’t simply turn their backs on the island after earning maximum profits during the summer,” he said.
The news has been condemned by hotel groups Pestana, Inatel and Sousa who claim there is simply not the business to stay open.
The archipelago’s regional secretary for Tourism and Transports was also dubious, saying the prospect of keeping hotels open that were empty was “negative”.