What is city tax (or tourist tax) and when do I have to pay this in Ostend?
City tax (also known as: Tourist tax) is a general tax that a municipality can levy. This allows the municipality for example to finance the use of facilities by tourists.
When paying city tax?
You pay city tax if you stay in Ostend. For example, when overnight in a hotel, guest house, caravan, apartment, B&B or bungalow.
Should business travelers also pay city tax?
Also if you are visiting the region for business purposes you pay city tax. The name of the tax suggests that it is only for tourists, but that is not the case.
Tax assessment for city tax
The owner of your residence gets the city tax assessment. For instance, the hotel owner or campsite owner. He may pass on the city tax to you.
Height of city tax
The local height of city tax varies by municipality. Municipalities may determine whether they levy city tax and how they calculate the rate. For example, a fixed amount per night or a percentage per night price. Each municipality can arrange the height in its own regulation. The local regulation of Ostend can be obtained or viewed at the municipality of Oostende.
Why city tax?
A municipality receives from central National government an amount per capita. If there are many tourists in a town, a municipality makes this more cost. For example, to keep the streets and beaches clean or maintain roads.
Can the city tax on the invoice be higher than the municipal rate?
No, but perhaps it is a mistake on your bill. It is best to inquire the entrepreneur who has made the invoice.
More information city tax
For more information about the local city tax in Ostend, you can contact the municipality of Oostende: http://www.oostende.be/.
If I want to cancel my reservation, will I be charged a cancellation fee?
Cancellation policies vary by accomodation. These specific rental terms which apply to your reservation are mentioned in your received confirmation or invoice.
In hotels in Ostend you can usually cancel or change your reservation 24 hours prior to your arrival. You can read your 'Hotel Policies' and see if a cancellation fee will be charged.
Keep in mind that in other accommodations (vacation bungalows, apartments, B&B, chalets, etc.) in Ostend, you often do owe a cancellation fee.
It's best to contact the accommodation owner directly for more information.