Albert Sagués, expert in Taxation, recommends that the incentives for Barcelona World should be temporary

Taxation for casinos and urban development that the promoters of the Barcelona World project are demanding are two controversial points that are still causing a stir. The Catalan Parliament should authorize more development for building on the land and reduce tax for gambling from 55% to 10%, but not all political parties agree on this. Should there be incentives for large investments? But to what extent is this merely the response to ‘blackmail’ by business groups?

Albert Sagués, lecturer of the  Master in Taxation at the UPF Barcelona School of Management believes the solution is very simple. When a project represents not only a large investment but also contributes to the economic development of a region, as is the case of this project, it makes sense to use temporary measures to provide incentives for investment or the execution of it’.

The BCN World project envisages the setting up of a large tourist complex with casinos, hotels and shopping, initiated by business group Veremonte, with an expected investment of 4,700 million and the creation of some 40,000 jobs. ‘It’s obvious that it is a large project that requires negotiation and for which agreements will need to be made that involve incentivizing the promoters so as not to miss the investment opportunity. However, these incentives cannot last forever. They must form part of a temporary agreement and be conditioned by the implementation and execution of the project, but should not under any circumstances be standard. According to Sagués, the Government should fix time limits and certain compensation that would, on one hand, encourage and give a push to the project, but on the other hand they should be clear that once this initial period has ended, things should go back to normal.