Tributes imposed on tourists as a new old source of local governments income

AuthorMarcin Burzec
PositionDepartment of Finance Law, The John Paul II Catholic Univeristy of Lublin
Tributes imposed on tourists as a new-old source
of local governments income
PhD. Marcin BURZEC1
The growth in a number of tourists and, consequently, a larger income obtained
from tourism by the state led to the situation when the previously marginalized tributes
imposed on tourists by local governments have assumed greater significance. Additional
revenues to local units’ budgets, gained from the above-mentioned tributes, are often
allotted for better infrastructure and tourist promotion, thereby contributing to the
increased tourist competitiveness. The present paper discusses the construction of levies
imposed on tourists by local governments in various European states. Besides, the issues of
how local governments can influence the construction of the tax within the fram es of the
granted tax autonomy are examined. Due to the fact that in many European countries
burdens imposed on tourists by local units can be called taxes, fees or other levies, the term
„tribute”, as a broader one including all statutory charges, is intentionally used in the
present paper.
Keywords: tax; fee; tribute; tourist; European states
JEL Classification: K34
1. Introductory remarks
Towards the end of the 1920s, José Ortega y Gasset, describing the
phenomenon of agglomeration with the use of the phenomenon of plenitude, stated
i.a. that towns were full of people, hotels full of guests, trains full of passengers,
cafés full of consumers, while beaches were full of bathers. Already at that time the
Spanish essayist and philosopher asserted that what had not posed any problem
previously, namely the finding of place for oneself, at his contemporary times
began to be a source of perennial troubles2. However, he did not expect that the
phenomenon he was describing would even intensify after over 80 years. This can
be observed, in particular, as far as tourism is concerned. Everyone who travelled
the world before the last decade of the 20th century can safely say that at that time
comfort of being a tourist was on a higher level than nowadays. Such a state of
affairs is due to a change in the behaviour of Western societies for whom
consumption has become an immanent feature, manifesting itself not so much by
travelling throughout the world as the compulsion to travel. This is confirmed by
statistical data, from which it results that in EU Member States there was a
1 Marcin Burzec – Department of Finance Law, The John Paul II Catholic Univeristy of Lublin,
2 J. Ortega y Gasset, Bunt mas,Muza, Warszawa 2004, p. 8.

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