Mysterious USB sticks and suspicions of evasion and building abuse: in Alto Garda 300 “ghost” tourist accommodations. The investigation of Il Dolomiti

RIVA DEL GARDA. Looking for a house in Trentino is anything but easy. In some municipalities with a strong tourist cold, or who can count on university students, Finding a cheap apartment becomes a business. There are many factors that can affect the price of rent, however to “grape” the real estate market Trentino contributes significantly the so-called tourist accommodations.

One of the communities most affected expensive rents is it by Alto Garda. In this area, which focuses heavily on tourism, we can talk about a real one “Emergency at home”, because the rents are incredibly high. Within 4 years new homes built in the most prestigious areas of Riva has passed from 3,200 to 3,800 euros per square meter. As already mentioned, these increases are related for exploitation of a significant number of apartments for tourist purposes.

It is no mystery that many in “Busa” have invested in this very profitable activity. On the other hand, it is worth shopping with tourists, it collects more and there is hardly any setback. The problem is that not all of them have a good reputation. Until now, however, no one has been able to make an estimate of how many illegal immigrants there were. Anyone broke this balance reveal a Pandora’s box with unpredictable consequences.

To understand better, however, we need to take a step back. At the end of March Apt Garda Dolomiti arranged a meeting in which they attended most of the area’s mayors and representatives of some economic categories of the hospitality sector. They were for this meeting supplied some usb sticks where the relevant data has been uploaded the tourist apartments which is rented in the municipalities in: Riva del Garda, Arco, Nago-Torbole, Tenno, Ledro, Dro and Drena.

The point is that some major discrepancies between the homes that are registered with the so-called Cipat code and those that are the houses that are actually rented out to tourists. Code Cipat is a unit designed by the province in order to bring the underground market forward and that all owners in good condition should have and exhibit (also online). Some of the administrators and representatives of the economic categories talked about the data in these USB sticks. “Obvious inconsistencies”.

The question is so burning some mayors are considering handing over the material to the fiscal police, others even deny having withdrawn the key. Among these the first town of Riva del Garda, Cristina Santi, who, while emphasizing that he suspects the data collected may be in violation of privacy laws, does not claim to be in possession of the USB key. But what does it say on the sticks that are delivered? There is names and surnames of the tenants, addresses and even the prices of tourist apartments. It is also specified for which there are no results regarding the Cipat code.

Now it is not clear how reliable the US software is, but the work done by Apt Garda Dolomiti (also by crossing the data from the various platforms such as Air B&B) is huge. “We would like to do the point of the situation in our area of ​​expertise ”, he emphasizes Oskar Schwazer Director of Apt Garda Dolomiti. “Let’s say it the vast majority of tenants proved to have a good reputation – he continues – others seem to not, because we have not found all the requested data. Our goal is certainly not to replace the financiers, but that is it required guarantee high quality hospitality e protect all those who respect the rules ”. The suspicions are also partially confirmed by a recent one operation of the financial guardas in the area of ​​Nago-Torbole has sanctioned the owners of some lodging that was not in good condition.

In any case, the software used by Apt analyzed the market trend for 12 months discover that the apartments for tourists rented in Alto Garda and Ledro are more than 1,700, while in the last announcement from the province (January 2021) they regularly with the Cipat code was around 1400, ergo there is a difference of about 300 accommodations. This does not mean that everyone is violent, but it should at least sound some alarm bells.

Always according to what was found by the Apt Garda Dolomites they are instead around eighty “ghost” tourist apartments who are not among them registered in the Dtu Provincial Register, however, from the tables mentioned The Dolomites came into possession could be many more. In fact, it needs private individuals who offer accommodation for tourist purposes indicate its characteristics in the relevant register which also serves to communicate the tourist tax. Those not registered in these registers could at least theoretically evade the tourist tax.

To get an idea of ​​the economic value of these homes, we can say that some of these are rented for over 600 euros per. day, this is at least the data discovered by the US software. “For the future, we need clear rules – continued Schwazer – because there is a risk that this will become a social problem, with residents struggling to find apartments and even those looking for staff for the season have been in trouble since there is no housing for employees “.

Also the indicator for overnight stays in tourist apartments it seems to show that something is wrong. Member of the local council of the Democratic Party Alessio Zanoni made some calculations in this regard and noted that the overnight stays in Riva del Garda were 45,405 facing alone 1,488 beds reviewed. This would mean that the single bed has been admitted to only 30 days a year but this value is clearly underestimated. Spectator numbers Hotel for example, they show how the overnight stays were in 2021 864,565 out of 6,232 beds, in other words, the average annual employment 138 days. This discrepancy between tourist accommodation and hotel rooms has no reason to exist because the two indicators run together.

To put forward some hypotheses about the real extent of accommodation for tourists, Zanoni did nothing but apply the annual occupancy of hotels to the stated beds for tourist apartments: “With this comparison, it can be assumed that the presence in the apartments is about 205 thousand and not 45 thousand as shown by the APT data “. In other words, if these calculations turn out to be correct, Riva Municipality (every year) would be missing approx. 91 thousand euros, due to non-collection of the tourist tax. Multiply the number by the other municipalities evasion would be really important.

“Not only are apartments being taken away from residents and workers – comments Zanoni – but that could be all symptom of severe tax evasion. In addition, there may also be problems build nature why transform an office, a basement or a living room into a tourist accommodation without the necessary permits configures a building abuse. With the new law, the control is therefore up to the municipalities the administration must take action, turning a blind eye can cause tax havens that will completely fall on the society it is already forced to live with exorbitant rents which prevents the weakest groups from finding a home ”, the councilor concludes.

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