June 14th, 2024 | 6:57

Bizkaia

Bizkaia Treasury gives discount to UEFA

Mairenis Gomez

May 22, 2024 | 4:30 p.m.

The Bizkaia Boards approve tax exemptions for UEFA events, generating political and social debates

Hen/Stag General Meetings of Bizkaia have approved a Regulatory Foral Decree that establishes tax exemptions for the UEFA Champions League final Women's 2024 and the UEFA Europa League 2025. This decree, approved by PNV, PSE-EE and PP, has sparked criticism from EH Bildu and Elkarrekin. Those who consider that these exemptions benefit entities that will not pay "any tax" while citizens do not see direct benefits.

Tax exemptions approved by majority in the Bizkaia Boards for UEFA events: a necessary step according to PNV, PSE and PP

The Regulatory Foral Decree, approved this Wednesday, regulates the tax regime applicable to the aforementioned events, contemplating exemptions in taxes on Corporations, Non-Resident Income, Income of Physical Persons and local taxes. This regulatory framework has been promoted with the objective of complying with the commitments acquired by Spain for these sporting events.. The Deputy for Treasury and Finance, Itxaso Berrojalbiz, explained that, as in 2020 with the final phase of the UEFA Women's Champions League. This regulation is required to align with the state and autonomous fiscal rules provided for in the Economic Agreement.

Regarding taxes not subject to regional regulations, such as VAT and Income Tax for Non-Residents without permanent establishment. A project is being processed in Congress that will later be adapted in Bizkaia through a regional decree. This measure is seen by Berrojalbiz as a "necessary procedure" to support Bizkaia's internationalization strategy..

Support from the Provincial Government to the Decree: economic benefits and legal certainty

From the Provincial Government, Ainhoa ​​Pielo of the PNV defended the urgency of the Decree due to the proximity of the UEFA Women's Champions League final. And the need to "guarantee the principle of legal certainty." Alberto Álvarez of the PSE-EE stressed the importance of these agreements to avoid double taxation and ensure the celebration of events that economically benefit the host localities. Pablo Gómez-Guadalupe of the PP described it as "irresponsible" not to support the Decree, highlighting the positive impact and international positioning that these events bring to Bizkaia.

Criticism of EH Bildu and Elkarrekin: questions about tax justice and local benefits

On the other hand, EH Bildu and Elkarrekin have spoken out against the approved tax exemptions. Arantza Sarasola from EH Bildu argued that Bizkaia "will not gain anything" from these events, criticizing the costs in public money and the lack of effort by the Provincial Government to make its own decisions on fiscal matters. Eneritz de Madariaga de Elkarrekin denounced that a "fiscal carpet" is being provided to UEFA. Allowing this corporation and its participants not to pay taxes on their activities and profits. What he considers unfair “favorable treatment” that detracts from public services.

The Bizkaia Boards approve tax exemptions for UEFA events, generating political and social debates

Political tensions and debates on the management of sporting events in Bizkaia

This controversy reflects tensions between different parties over how the benefits and costs of hosting international sporting events should be managed. While some see the exemptions as an opportunity to position Bizkaia on the global stage and promote the local economy. Others consider that these measures do not bring direct benefits to citizens and criticize their subordination to state commitments..

Ultimately, the tax exemptions for the UEFA finals in Bizkaia have generated significant debate about tax fairness and the economic impact of such events in the region. This scenario highlights the complexity of balancing economic interests with demands for fiscal justice and public perception of the use of local resources..

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