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Areas Urbanism & territory, Tourism and Economic activities Urbanism and Territory planning

Deadline on estate tax rebate requests: next week

Foto casa pagesa formenteraThe Formentera Council reports that next Friday, March 31, is the last day for large families and owners of properties with grade B protection to request rebates on the so-called “IBI”, or estate tax.

Large families receive a 50 per cent rebate provided their home is valued at less than €120,000 and constitutes the family's habitual place of residence.

Likewise, owners of properties with protection grade B on Formentera's cultural heritage catalogue can apply to have 75 per cent of their tax payment returned. Properties used for commercial purposes are ineligible for the discount.

Rebate requests can be made at the Citizen's Information Office (OAC) during the first quarter of the year.

Council charges 15 cases of unauthorised tourist rentals

MIRADOR PREMSAThe Formentera Council's Office of Land has announced its intent to pursue legal action for 15 violations of tourism and land use codes. The move, explained land and tourism councillor Alejandra Ferrer, is a way to protect law-abiding and tax-paying businesses from unfair competition. She voiced the Council's hope that a portion of the illegal rentals join Formentera's offer for long-term tenants, mitigating the housing crunch.

Legal action will be pursued with 14 apartments in multifamily buildings and one house on rural land where owners failed to declare rental activity. In a bid to regulate tourism, Balearic law 8/2012 (July 19) established penalties for illegal rentals of €4,000 and up.

“Formentera has got a lot riding on our visitors' satisfaction,” said Ferrer, “and accommodation looms large when that's rated”. The councillor said that fact explained periodic sweeps by the Council flagging rentals where owners lack the required credentials—“accreditation and controls,” Ferrer pointed out, “that can ensure minimum quality standards.”

New survey seeks clearer picture of Formentera's housing crunch

Simulacio final obra HPOThe Formentera Council's land office is engaging directly with IBAVI, the Balearic Islands' housing institute, on a survey to improve understanding of the housing demand on the island. Survey respondents will also be added to a register of potential renters, updating the waiting list for IBAVI's low-cost housing currently under construction in Sant Ferran.

In March, the Council has created an information corner at the Citizen Information Office (OAC) where home-hunters can register. It is open Monday through Friday, 9.00am to 2.00pm and interested parties can also visit IBAVI's Formentera office next to SOIB, Mondays 9.30am to 1.00pm and Thursdays 11.00am to 1.30pm.

According to land councillor Alejandra Ferrer, the two groups' decision to team up can be traced back to the need for “clearer data on Formentera's housing crunch”. Equipped with the information, she said, the Council and Govern foresee carrying forward pointed efforts to tackle the problem.

Council reminds local businesses of rural ad ban

The Formentera Council's Office of Land wishes to remind residents and businesses of the ban in place on advertising in rural areas. The restriction is anchored by Formentera subsidiary regulations as well as an island ordinance on so-called “dynamic advertising”. Local inspection services have begun articulating a study on signs found across Formentera, especially those that are devoted to promoting private businesses. The current regulations are expected to be updated based on the study's conclusions and removal orders and penalties will be issued accordingly. Those announcements were laid out earlier today by CiF land, tourism and trade councillor Alejandra Ferrer.

Ferrer mentioned that a removal order had recently been issued to a business-owner for emblazoning advertising on his rural storefront. According to Formentera subsidiary code, the individual must now return the property to its original state — that is, paint it either white or sand-coloured. Failing that, the Council will take up the task itself at the owner's expense and CiF legal services will study whether or not to seek punitive measures. Ferrer said the effort was part of a push “to protect landscapes and avoid a surge of advertising across the island”. She asked local tradesman to contact Formentera's Office of Land, Tourism and Trade before putting up signs and posters so that the office could indicate to them when and how to do so legally.

Boned: improvement projects could make pollution, noise thing of past at Formentera power plant

Reunió amb veïns Es Ca Marí premsaEarlier today, Alejandra Ferrer and Daisee Aguilera, Formentera's councillors of land and environment, respectively, held a meeting with Joan Boned, regional minister of land, energy and transport; Joan Groizard, director general of the Balearic office in charge of tackling energy and climate change issues; and different representatives from the Es Ca Marí neighbourhood. At the gathering Minister Boned detailed the different actions planned by the Palma administration to take aim at the perennial buzzing, pollution and emissions that have long plagued the area around the power station.

At present, Palma envisions modifying the site's noise abatement technology, updating the generators used at the plant, installing a system of noise absorption within the plant itself and building a single, eight to ten metre smokestack. The regional minister promised a return visit before summer in order to ensure plans remain on track.

Councillor Aguilera said the Govern's proposed solution, which will be in place by summer 2016, is sufficient until a more definitive fix can be found. Lina Mayans, secretary of the Es Ca Marí neighbours' association, indicated she is pleased with the anticipated measures, while noting the group's greatest cause for concern remains pollution levels in the area.

Anger over cuts in power service

Boned expressed his anger over the service cuts that have hit Formentera since the year began. According to the minister, inclement meteorological events cannot be used as an excuse because the power company should be able to predict them. Boned made assurances his department has already demanded the company provide explanations for the service interruptions and take the necessary steps to avoid their continued occurrence.

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