Posted by Tomas on November 17, 2016
On November 15, 2016, the state legislature of Baja California Sur approved a plan of implementation of a $350 peso per person tax on tourists spending more than 24hrs in the state. The plan is to provide additional funding for infrastructure improvements that will not only benefit the visitors to Baja California Sur but local residents as well. The tax will only apply to non-citizens staying more than 24hrs in the state on a tourist visa.
The resulting funds will be earmarked for public safety, health programs, street lighting, sidewalks and housing. In October the state approved a plan for a multi-million dollar renovation to the La Paz Malecon, without any source of funding. More than 2 million tourists per year that would be effected by the new fee, which would raise an estimated $35 million dollars per year.
Implementation of tax is not imminent, as a period of 180 days has been set for dialog on the new tax, beginning January 1, 2017. The plan is incomplete, as it does not yet provide a means of collection and calls for specifics on how the money collected will be allocated. First pass plans call for hotels, guest homes and condo renters to be responsible for the collection and a receipt issued that would be essential to maintain in your possession while on your visit.
Baja California Sur is one of the poorest states in the Mexican federation and the rapid growth of tourism has put a strain on local resources. Those opposed to the tax plan say that it will stymie the growth of this all-important industry. Baja California Sur already has one of the highest room taxes in all of Mexico.