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Berlin extends its new tourist bed tax by charging dogs

March 10, 2014 Destination Global, Headline News No Comments Email Email

egtmedia59In a controversial move, Berlin has extended its new tourism tax to cover dogs. From now on, tourists bringing their dogs to the city will have to pay more tax than if they travelled without them.

A tourist bed tax took force in Berlin at the start of this year. After careful examination of the relevant statutes, the city’s finance authorities have confirmed that the levy includes dogs as well as humans, the newspaper Berliner Morgenpost reports.

It is not yet clear how much extra tourists must pay to bring their pets to Berlin. The city tax is 5% of the net cost of the room and is collected by the room provider as part of the bill. Breed - Rottweiler

Current guidelines indicate that dog owners must pay the tax. There will be no attempt to gather tax payments directly from dogs – particularly if they are Rottweilers.

Guide dogs are exempt, so tax free. Overnight stays on business travel are also exempt – with or without a dog.

Breed - Toy poodleBerlin is already embroiled in controversy over dogs after Germany’s first restaurant for dogs opened there a few weeks ago. The restaurant also caters for cats (hopefully in a different room).

The restaurant has been criticised as “decadent”.

“Does Berlin really need a gourmet restaurant for dogs?” asked the Bild newspaper.

Pets Deli dog and cat restaurant is based in the upscale neighbourhood of Grunewald. Its meals cost from EUR 3 to EUR 6, with treats like cupcakes costing EUR 4. Once again, it is owners who must pay. Cats and dogs seldom carry purses or wallets.

“A store this decadent gives the impression that we do more for animals than for children,” fumed Wolfgang Büscher, of the Ark charity, which works with disadvantaged Berlin youngsters.

Meanwhile, the hotel room tax for humans is expected to bring in an extra EUR 25 million a year for Berlin – half which will be fed back into the city’s tourist industry. The proportion gathered from dogs is unknown.

Written by : Peter Needham

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