Alcoutim council is continuing with its financial juggling trick of keeping local taxes at the lowest possible level while recognising its need for income to run essential local services.
The council knows that it must make living in the Alcoutim municipality as reasonably priced as possible and, with this in mind, continues to forego the collection of a 5% income tax supplement from residents and is keeping municipal taxes at the lowest level - just 0.3%.
There also are reductions in municipal taxes depending on the number of children living in a property: €20 off for families with one child, €40 for families with two children and €70 off for families with three or more dependents.
These measures were approved on July 26th and aim to be "a stimulus to keeping and attracting new residents."
Although these measures "translate into a decrease in municipal tax revenues, thus obliging the municipality to make additional efforts, they alleviate the tax burden of the residents in the council area and are a stimulus to keep and attraction new residents" said Alcoutim council, in a master-class of good sense and clear thinking.
The council also plans to create a camping and caravan park to the north of the already popular river beach.
The 'procedure for the preparation' of this project has been approved and aims to create space for those visiting the river beach and coming to Alcoutim for all sorts of nature activities that already are on offer in the northeast Algarve.
Progress on this additional facility will be slow though, with the a maximum period of 18 months set aside for the 'Pego do Fundo' project just to be drawn up. This work includes looking at the natural and tourist potential of the area, looking at the landscape of the Pego do Fundo area and the existing infrastructure with a view to the creation of a campsite, caravan park, a space for sports and recreation all in keeping with the topography and natural style ot this rurual part of the Algarve.
The area over which the council is pondering, about 7.38 hectares, is about half a kilometer from the River Guadiana, and is said to have excellent views of the river, the town and the surrounding landscape.
There will have to be the inevitable environmental assessment procedure and the Municipal Master Plan (PDM) will need to be altered as the zone is National Ecological Reserve and National Agricultural Reserve.
These types of projects have to start somewhere and, despite the work involved being long-winded and laborious, this is low-impact development and in tune with the type of tourism the area is renowned for.