€ 1 Million Decrease in Office of Tourism’s Budget

This year, the Tourist Office has seen its purse from the Collectivité amputated by 33%.

During the vote by elected representatives of the initial budget 2016, on March 31, neither debates nor explanations were prompted in regards to the decrease in the budget allocated by the Collectivité to the Office of Tourism which it is a part of.   The reduction is substantial: more than one million Euros. In fact, this year the Collectivité will allocate € 2.067 million to the Office of Tourism against € 3.11 and € 3.20 million for the past two years. Whatever the reason, that decision causes misunderstanding and stands as an anomaly.

First, it should be noted that the allocated budget is less than the revenues from the tourist tax collected in 2015, which reaches € 2.9 million. While this tax increased by 40%, the amount allocated to the Office of Tourism was trimmed by 33% the following year.

On the other hand, it is worth noting that the Office of Tourism's budget represents only 28% of the revenue from the tourist tax. Now, according to the tax code of Saint-Martin, the budget of the Office should include "mandatorily in earnings, three-quarters of the proceeds from the tourist tax"; three-quarters representing € 2.17 million if one refers to the revenues for the year 2015. The total does not appear to be quite right.


Who pays the tourist tax?

Any person residing for less than 90 days, within a year, in payable accommodations located within the territory of the Collectivité of Saint-Martin, should pay the tourist tax, whatever the nature and class of the accommodation.

How is it collected?

The tourist tax is collected by tourist accommodation establishments, tourist hotels, tourist residences, holiday resorts, registered or not, renters of furnished apartment or villas, furnished accommodation and cottages, operators of campgrounds or trailer parks, marinas, water sports or recreational vessels and in general by all accommodation professional providers.

All the above-mentioned service providers must include the tax in the price for their services, and it must be listed on all invoices and returned to the public accountant.


Estelle Gasnet