Portimão’s civil protection tax has already brought in €700,000

Portimão’s civil protection tax has already brought in €700,000

The controversial civil protection tax created recently by Portimão council has already raised €700,000 – and that’s with only 60% of residents having paid it.
Portuguese media reports over the weekend suggest the council, dubbed one of the most ‘bankrupt’ in the country, is on track to raise €1.1 million from the tax, which mayoress Isilida Gome has agreed could now be considered “excessive”.
“Perhaps it is not possible to justify all this money,” she told Correio da Manhã.
The tax, which has caused outrage among locals who feel they are already taxed enough, has been designed to fund firefighting and other public protection measures.
It is calculated on the basis of rateable value – and this is what has fuelled residents’ outrage, as Portimão recently “reviewed” the borough’s rateable values upwards to the point where many simply cannot pay their bills.
Only last month, a homeowner in serious financial trouble appealed through newspapers to be alllowed to pay her dues via community service.
Over the last five years Estela Lapa claimed she had seen her rates bill double and, as Correio da Manhã pointed out, she is only one of thousands in the same boat.
While many ratepayers have still to pay the reviled new tax, mayor Gomes told CM that a commission has been created “to analyse the annual financial needs” of the town’s civil protection services, “namely the firemen”.
This commission will then propose a revision of the municipal tax, she said – omitting to say what would happen to the “excess” money that will have been amassed in the meantime.
Gomes was speaking to CM in the aftermath of yet another council meeting where opposition members tried in vain to get the tax thrown-out altogether.