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Ski lifts in Italy to become liable for tax

^Are ski lifts in ski areas a form of public transport? The Supreme Court in Italy has ruled not. © Peter Freitag / Pixelio.de

The Supreme Court in Italy has now ruled that cable cars and chair lifts do not count as public transport, meaning that municipal tax on real estate is therefore now payable. The judgment has led to uproar in ski resorts.

A ski-lift company had challenged the decision of the Italian tax authorities to charge real estate tax on a lift system in 2014. The Supreme Court of Cassation has now decided that commercial ski lifts and gondolas are not a form of public transportation, and are therefore liable to tax. Operators therefore now face an annual real estate tax charge of 25,000 euros for a 5-seater chairlift and up to 50,000 euros for a gondola. The ruling has shaken the sector and may affect the future of many ski areas that are already struggling with the consequences of the economic crisis.

In the public perception, all lifts were previously regarded as means of public transport, not just those that served remote villages and pastures and were thus subsidised in the public interest. Decision-makers are now looking for a political solution. Can the law be changed? Can the public sector rather than commercial lift operators take on the real estate tax? Environmental groups criticise the fact that the essential question is being overlooked: how can a transition be made to a form of tourism that is also genuinely sustainable – including in economic terms?

Source and further information: www.repubblica.it/economia/2015/03/23/news/sci_gestori_in_allarme_per_l_obbligo_di_pagare_l_imu_sugli_impianti-110290548/ (it), www.lastampa.it/2015/03/24/edizioni/aosta/la-cassazione-si-deve-pagare-limu-anche-sulle-funivie-mLlIZLwpIvqzOGZkvOOBIP/pagina.html (it), www.uncem.piemonte.it/News.php?id=423 (it), www.mountainwilderness.it/news/displaynews.php?idnews=426 (it), www.ilfattoquotidiano.it/2015/03/27/imu-anche-per-gli-impianti-a-fune-giusto/1542994/ (it)

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