Munich (dpa/lby) - The Bavarian Association of Cities criticizes the Bavarian-wide ban on accommodation taxes for hotels planned by the state government. The municipalities should be able to decide for themselves whether to collect accommodation taxes, said managing director Bernd Buckenhofer on Thursday. The City Day pointed out that a number of cities outside of Bavaria levy such bed taxes, which then also affect Bavarian tourists accordingly. Buckenhofer called the announced ban "irritating".
The trigger for the dispute was the announcement by the state capital Munich that it was the first Bavarian municipality to demand a five percent accommodation tax from hotels.
For years, the hotel and restaurant association Dehoga has been campaigning against municipal accommodation taxes, which are levied by some cities outside of Bavaria. On Tuesday, the state government announced an amendment to the municipal tax law in order to prohibit municipalities from paying bed taxes throughout Bavaria. "This is neither a 'penalty tax' nor an 'annihilation program' or 'rip-off'," explained Buckenhofer. According to the City Day, overnight taxes have no negative impact on hotel occupancy.
The Federal Constitutional Court only declared the accommodation tax to be constitutional in March. As a result, several lawsuits by hoteliers from Bremen, Hamburg and Freiburg, supported by the Dehoga hotel industry association, against bed taxes in their municipalities finally failed. The municipalities concerned levy the taxes in order to increase their revenues. The hospitality industry feels disadvantaged because retailers and other businesses that benefit from tourism don't have to pay such taxes for their customers.