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Porto City Council wants to exempt economic activities from municipal fees until the end of 2021

Porto City Council wants to exempt economic activities from municipal fees until the end of 2021
13 Nov 2020

In view of the current situation of the second wave of the pandemic, the independent majority of the Municipal Executive takes to the City Council meeting on November 30th, together with the 2021 Municipal Budget document, a proposal to extend the support measures to establishments and agents the economic, commercial and business fabric of the city, approved in May this year and which, for now, are in force until the end of December 2020.

The intention now is to renew the package of measures throughout the next year, with effect until December 31st, 2021. The impact in terms of revenue will be significant, since the Municipality estimates a loss up to considerably higher than 315 thousand euros, taking into account that the exemptions still cover the special regime of terraces, also applied in May. 

Thanks to this complementary measure, the area occupied in public space by the terraces has grown exponentially in the last few months (remember that, at the end of the first week of application of the measure, requests for an expansion rate were already around 60%). 

Since May, establishments, and agents in the economic, commercial, and business sectors of Porto have been exempt from paying the following municipal fees: the occupation of public space with advertising media, installation of awnings, terraces, showcases and displays, chests and machines, flower boxes, containers; and other public domain occupations, such as non-profit events. 

The issue of a license to operate tourist circuits, as well as that related to tourist developments, was exempt from the fees of the Municipality of Porto. The installation of catering or beverage establishments, the sale of goods, the provision of services or storage, as well as the public transport of car rental, were also freed from this charge, an exemption still extendable to the provision of catering services or drinks with a non-sedentary character, in public space, depending on the area of ​​the facilities and the period of operation.

The group of measures approved six months ago by Porto City Council also includes special buildings or installations on the ground or in the basement, namely temporary buildings or installations due to celebrations or other celebrations, for the exercise of trade. Pavilions, kiosks, or other constructions (these referring to those not included in the numbers preceding article 66 of the Municipal Taxes Table in force, which can be consulted in the Regulatory Code of the Municipality of Porto), complete the list of exemptions in force.

As for the special regime for the licensing of terraces, which has allowed the installation or expansion of 531 terraces to date, it will be extended for another year, and interested parties must submit the respective request at the Virtual Service Desk (BAV).

It should be remembered that under this regime, the Porto City Council allows for the increase in the areas for the installation of this type of urban furniture, which must meet the criteria defined in terms of dimensions and implantation, in addition to respecting the guidelines and regulations for the restaurant sector, issued by the health and labor authorities.

On the other hand, this special and transitory regime allows as possible - in some cases and by checking the conditions of circulation and security - the occupation of parking spaces with terraces for terraces.

The Municipality also maintains the possibility of installing terraces in squares, squares, and squares, for the use of restaurants, beverages, or similar establishments, or of tourist developments located nearby, even if they are not spatially contiguous. 

The terraces licensed under this regime must comply with the conditions contained in the titles sent to applicants, including the occupation area, opening hours, furniture to be installed, and capacity.

The furniture to be installed under these licenses is restricted to tables, chairs, umbrellas, and heaters for outdoor use.

The exemptions and refunds provided can only benefit establishments and economic agents whose tax situation is regularized before the Municipality.