The city wants to introduce a new lodging tax. Tourists and business people should pay the fee from September 1, 2023 if possible. The combing department hopes to earn between 40 and 60 million euros per year. This would be offset by one to two million for the bureaucratic effort. This is what it says in the draft resolution for a city council meeting of the finance committee on November 29th.
Hotels, guesthouses and campsites, but also private individuals who rent apartments via Internet portals such as Airbnb, should pay seven percent tax on every overnight stay. Young people under the age of 18 should not have to pay anything. Breakfast, half-board and wellness packages are exempt from the tax. Munich has “extended a wide variety of attractive offers for guests to our city over the past few decades,” said treasurer Christoph Frey (SPD). “I’m sure that the guests of our city will understand that, like in almost all big cities in Germany, they make a small contribution to the city’s treasury.”
The Greens/Pink List faction did not want to comment on the plans, but its own SPD/Volt faction approved of the new tax. The city spends a lot of money to promote tourism, and the municipality was particularly involved in the restart after the pandemic, says Christian Köning, spokesman for financial policy for the parliamentary group. Guests could experience many events and attractions in Munich that one would like to preserve and expand. In addition to the range of high culture, Köning also cited the European Championships in the summer, to which Munich contributed 33 million euros, or the recently held NFL football game as examples. Tourists would have to contribute to the high costs for infrastructure and events. “We also do a lot for them.”
With its initiative, the green-red coalition is launching a new attempt to introduce an overnight stay tax. In 2010, it failed because of the legal supervision, the government of Upper Bavaria. At that time, Munich wanted to charge a flat rate of 2.50 euros per guest. The Free State gave two reasons for the rejection: The Munich accommodation tax would have torpedoed the thrust of the tax breaks for tourism companies that had just been introduced in Bavaria at the time, with which the industry was to be supported nationwide at the time. In addition, a flat-rate taxation of an overnight stay regardless of the price paid is unfair.
This time the coalition hopes to get through with its tax. The optimism is based on a judgment of the Federal Constitutional Court of March 22, 2022. In this complaints from Hamburg, Bremen and Freiburg were rejected. The finance department estimates twelve million overnight stays in the city for the forecast revenue. A “defensively estimated” number, as the template puts it. With the exception of the pandemic years 2020 and 2021, this has always been exceeded since 2012. In 2022, it is already becoming apparent that a return to the values before the Corona crisis is imminent. In July 2022, for example, the city had a record number of guests from Germany.
SPD finance politician Koening does not believe that the city could use the new tax to choke off the revival of the industry. Although she first meets the tourism companies, she would certainly pass them on to her customers. More than 30 municipalities in Germany are already raising the tax. “The people of Munich also have to pay there,” said Köning.