Portimão’s reviled civil protection tax faces court embargo

Portimão’s reviled civil protection tax faces court embargo

Portimão’s universally-hated new civil protection tax is now well and truly under threat.
The administrative and fiscal court of Loulé has accepted an injunction bid presented by a group of citizens.
The 14-page bid claims the tax is unconstitutional and illegal.
As the Resident reported earlier this month, it is also raking in almost €600,000 more than is needed (https://www.portugalresident.com/resident-in-outrage-as-portim%C3%A3o-wicked-tax-strips-residents-of-%E2%82%AC1-million).
One of the key arguments of the injunction bid centres on the fact that “councils are not allowed to create taxes”. Thus no matter how the council cloaks its terminology, lawyer João Pacheco representing a group of 10 citizens claims it has crossed the legal line.
The council – a borough forever in the news for its massive debt-load – has 15 days to react to the bid, during which time payment of the tax should be suspended.
Stressing that the suspension should only apply to those 10 citizens involved in the court bid, the council has guaranteed that it will “respond in the legal timeframe”.
Once this has happened, the court will hear witnesses and decide whether or not it is in a position to declare the tax null and void.
Should this happen, the next question will be: how can people who have paid the tax get their money back?
Again, as the Resident reported earlier this month, the tax has already brought €700,000 into the borough’s coffers, and is on track to rake in over €1.1 million (https://www.portugalresident.com/portim%C3%A3o%E2%80%99s-civil-protection-tax-has-already-brought-in-%E2%82%AC700000).
According to Portuguese media, only €400,000 is actually needed by the town’s civil protection services – though the council has said it could keep the remainder on standby for a natural disaster. Locals were quick to retort that they would rather have their money back than wait for a disaster that “might never happen”.
But for now, everyone is waiting to see what happens within the next 15 days.