Although plenty of details regarding the “environmental healing” tax have yet to be ironed out, Los Cabos mayor Oscar Leggs announced that hotels, Airbnb’s and other lodging facilities will begin to withhold the tax from tourists starting in September. The tax was approved by the Baja California congress in December 2021, but has yet to be applied to hotel prices mainly because the fund that will handle the fees that are collected hasn’t been set up yet.
Apart from announcing that the tax will be applied to hotel and Airbnb fees starting in September, mayor Oscar Leggs also emphasized the importance of these funds. He promised that they will be used to improve roadways and combat issues that can cause health problems to locals and tourists alike. Such as the sewage that at times flows onto the street after rainy days.
Mayor Leggs mentioned, “Everyone is in the best disposition to ensure that the “environmental healing” tax can begin being collected on September 1st. This will allow us to start improving roads, and solving problems that cause health issues such as minimizing the amount of dust in the environment amongst other challenges.”
Who Is Going To Get Charged
According to the ruling that was passed by the Baja California congress the tax will be applied to anyone who books a nightly stay at a Los Cabos lodging facility. The hotel or the app that the traveler books their stay with will be responsible for collecting the fee. The tax is exclusive to the Los Cabos region, which means, La Paz, Loretto, and all of the other Baja California cities will not be collecting this tax.
The Cost Of The New Tax
The law also states how much a guest at a Los Cabos facility will be charged for this tax. The cost will be 35% of the daily UMA rate. The law dictates that anyone spending 24 hours or more at a Los Cabos lodging facility will have to pay the tax directly to the hotel or facility that they are staying at.
The current UMA rate sits at 96 pesos.
This means that the tax is going to cost tourists about a dollar and sixty-five cents. $1.65
Certainly the fee seems pretty insignificant, currently though in spite of the fact that local authorities want to begin adding the fee to lodging prices in less than a month, they have yet to determine whether this fee has to be paid per guest, per night, or per stay. This is something that has drawn criticism from local lawyers who’ve pointed out that the law drafted by the state congress is rather ambiguous.
Originally the law that was passed by congress does not contemplate the price of the hotel, motel, or vacation rental in the bill. What this means is that a person staying at the most expensive luxury hotel or villa in Los Cabos will pay exactly the same amount in “environmental healing” taxes as the person staying at the worst roadside motel.
Since the tax is not tied down to the value of the room or accommodation if authorities decide that this tax has to be paid per night of stay, and number of guests that could easily add the cost of a full night’s stay to the total price of a few days’ vacation at a low level lodging facility. Ultimately it seems, tourists staying at 3-star facilities and beyond in Los Cabos will not see a major uptick in the price of travel packages because of this new tax.