Government approves budget maneuver, here are measures for culture and tourism

From the government green light to the text of the 2024 budget maneuver, which will now go to Parliament. Here are the measures for culture and tourism, from the abolition of the 18-year-old bonus to contract renewals for culture workers via the spending review of ministries.

Preparing to be scrutinized by the House and Senate is the Budget Maneuver approved by the government, which after a meeting between majority parties is expected to arrive in the chamber with the agreement not to have any amendments presented by majority parliamentarians. Therefore, according to the gentlemen’s agreement, the text approved by Palazzo Chigi as it enters should come out subject to the freedom of deputies and senators, including those of the majority, to present them and find the votes to change the text. After the signature of President Sergio Mattarella and the “stamping” of the Central State Accounting Office, the text of the DDL, which currently has 109 articles, has landed in the Senate for the start of parliamentary discussion starting with the Budget Committee of Palazzo Madama to which the opinions of all other committees must arrive by November 10. Then there will be the start of the social partners’ hearings and discussion to transmit the text to the House by Nov. 27. Then the text will go to the Chamber of Deputies. So let’s see what the new Budget Law looks like with regard to Culture and Tourism.

App18 eliminated and replaced by Culture Card and the Merit Card.

Let’s start by giving an account of what will no longer be there: the App18 was a Bonus introduced in 2016 under Minister Franceschini that provided 500 euros for new-age children to spend on cultural services and products, such as music, concerts, cinema, cultural events, museums, books, parks and monuments, dance and theater, foreign language courses, audiovisual publishing products, and subscriptions to newspapers, including in digital format. From 2024 it will be replaced by two different measures: Carta Cultura and the Carta del Merito, both 500 euros and cumulative where, however, the former will be linked to income with a maximum Isee of 35 thousand euros, while the latter is aimed at students who got 100, the maximum, in their high school graduation exam. Just a few days ago, Minister Sangiuliano had expressed the need to redefine the Culture Bonus after the Guardia di Finanza investigated four people accused of defrauding the state by simulating the purchase of books through the bonus: “The umpteenth scam on the Culture Bonus uncovered by the Guardia di Finanza investigations confirms the goodness of the decision taken at the time to surpass this tool with the Youth Card and the Merit Card.”

Newspaper in the classroom

The subsidy for schools wishing to purchase subscriptions to newspapers and periodicals, including online up to 90 percent of the expenditure, from the next school year is renewed but modified. In effect for three years already, the measure sees the removal of restrictions it contained.

Short-term rentals for tourist leases

A topic of close concern for the many Italians who have a second home (the short rental market counts 640 thousand unused second homes currently earning income with short rentals, 1.8 percent of the existing homes in Italy; in addition, about 96 percent of the homes on offer on websites belong to single owners) and for the historic centers of cities of art is the one concerning the news on cedolare secca and short rentals for tourists. For this type of property so rented comes is established at the national level what is already there in some regions: the unique identification code. A tool that will serve, in the intentions, to bring out the underground since it will go to identify the owners who rent houses and control the payment of taxes, which will see a change in the tax regime with the cedolare secca rising from 21 to 26 percent but only from the second to the fourth house rented up to 30 days. For the first house put up for rent, the dry coupon remains at 21 percent. The estimated increased revenue from the combination of these two regulations is about 1 billion. Satisfied Minister of Tourism Santanchè: “The Manoeuvre accepts my proposals for reform on the subject of short rentals and in the context of the dry coupon the introduction of the CIN National Identification Code will allow us to combat the underground and abusive and to respond, at the same time, to a clear need of the same online platforms to have certain national rules. A step forward in normalizing an industry that was more like a Wild West.” And on the coupon secca he says that “that of raising the rate based on the number of houses and from the way they are put on income is a common sense choice that respects private property, but above all that does not put its hands in the pockets of Italians. Today we put order in an area that had never been touched by those who came before us, we do it without raising taxes, but by regulating and reinvesting those monies on families, businesses and development. To those from the oppositions who hoped that the granitic majority union would crumble in the face of the good of the Italians I say try again you will be luckier.” For Confedilizia, on the other hand, it is “a wrong choice made to please hoteliers” that will lead to “a few more vacant houses, the underground economy will be fueled and the villages of our inland areas will have a few less hopes of returning to life.”

Tourist tax

Two new changes are coming for municipalities. The administrations of capital municipalities, unions of municipalities and cities of art and tourism, in fact, for the year of the Jubilee of the Catholic Church in 2025 will be able to increase up to 2 euros per night the tourist tax charged to those staying in accommodation facilities in their municipality.


Also for the Jubilee, the state also allocates 600 million euros for the implementation of the necessary works and interventions for the year of celebration.

Boarding fee and landing fee

For Metropolitan City Municipalities, there is the possibility, for those with a port or airport, of an increase in boarding and disembarkation taxes, with “an increase in the municipal surtax on Irpef not exceeding 0.4 percentage points” and “a municipal surtax on port and airport boarding fees per passenger not exceeding 3 euros per passenger.” Corriere della Sera estimates an increase in the relevant municipal coffers of 380 million euros. The boarding tax was introduced in 2004 with the value of 1 euro, today it has reached 6.5 euros in many Italian airports, 7.5 euros in Rome Fiumicino and Ciampino and 9 euros in Venice. As the Corriere points out, “if municipalities decide to increase the tax by three euros, or up to the maximum allowed, travelers from Italy will pay from 9.5 euros to 12 euros in municipal surtax.” Just so we know, let’s see how the tax is divided, let’s take the case of the airport with the 6.5 euro surtax: 1 euro is divided between Enav, airport municipalities and measures aimed at security, 50 cents is aimed at reducing the cost to the state of the fire-fighting service at airports, 1.5 euro is for the Solidarity Fund for the air transport sector and the airport system, 3.5 euro goes to INPS for the support of social security management.

Deductions for workers in the tourism, services and related sectors

The text of the Manoeuvre provides that workers in food and beverage establishments and workers in the tourism sector (hotels, bars, restaurants, bathing and spa establishments) are granted a special supplementary treatment, which does not contribute to the formation of income, equal to 15 percent of the gross wages paid in relation to night work and overtime work performed on holidays.

RAI licence fee

Italy’s largest cultural enterprise, some call it. Yet RAI is always causing discussion both off and behind the screen. After the fee was already reduced in 2016 with payment through a charge on the electricity bill, the government has decided on a new reduction from the current 90 to 70 euros per year. On the other hand, the public broadcaster will receive from the state (the general taxation) a contribution of 430 million euros for the year 2024 for the “improvement of the quality of public service radio, television and multimedia throughout the national territory,” and an increase in the advertising ceiling is also being studied. Economic Development Minister Giorgetti on payment methods did not rule out that in the future this may no longer be through the electric bill but that of the smartphone and tablet user for streaming via platform.

Culture workers salaries

For public administration contracts comes 8 billion in new resources, which will therefore also affect employees in the culture sector. With contract renewals, 3 billion are planned for in 2024 and 5 billion in 2025.

Spending review to ministries: 2.5 billion in cuts over three years

To finance the maneuver, spending revisions in the various ministries are planned to reach about 2.5 billion over three years. All ministries are involved: for that of Culture will have to cut 71 million and Tourism 11 million.

Archaeological parks

In order to support the realization of a national campaign of archaeological excavations in Pompeii and other national archaeological parks, as well as interventions for security and conservation and activities aimed at the protection of areas and zones of archaeological interest, the expenditure of 4 million euros annually from 2024 is authorized. And in order to ensure the protection and enhancement of national institutes and places of culture, particularly archaeological areas and parks, through a virtuous process of routine and planned maintenance, the expenditure of 10 million euros annually from 2024 is authorized.

Funds for protection and enhancement from cultural events

The Minister of Culture may provide by his own decrees that a share of the income earned from concerts, exhibitions, cultural events and other events, by the offices of the Ministry of Culture endowed with autonomy or, in agreement with the parties concerned, by the entities controlled or supervised by the same Ministry, including the Lyric Symphonic Foundations and national theaters, as well as by traditional theaters, concert-orchestral institutions and museums accredited to the museum system net of the relevant charges, shall be paid to the State budget revenue and reallocated in the corresponding fiscal year by decrees of the State Accountant General to the Ministry of Culture’s budget estimate, to be allocated to the protection and enhancement of cultural heritage and activities

Cinema. 20 million for the Fund, changes to the tax credit.

In order to enable a more widespread and homogeneous distribution of movie theaters throughout the country, to stimulate investments for the functional and technological upgrading of active movie theaters, also taking into account the needs of people with disabilities, a special section of the Fund for Cinema and Audiovisual, with an endowment of up to 20 million euros annually as of 2024, is established for the granting of non-repayable grants, or interest subsidies on mortgages or finance leases. In an interview published by La Stampa on Oct. 24, Culture Undersecretary Lucia Borgonzoni explained that “The film fund will lose 50 million, not 100 million. Of these, 36 million will be requested by the Ministry of the Economy as a 5 percent linear cut asked of all the ministries, while 14 million will instead be shifted to other items always in culture.” On the other hand, as far as the tax credit for cinema is concerned, it will no longer be 40 percent but may vary between 20 and 40 percent in relation to the size of companies or groups of companies as well as in relation to certain eligible costs or thresholds, without prejudice to the maximum measure of 40 percent. “The norm,” Undersecretary Borgonzoni clarified in a note, “serves to be able to include a tool, discussed and under evaluation with all the associations of the audiovisual sector, to make the system more efficient, a descaletor linked to investments. The evaluation starts from the fact that a 30 million film cannot benefit from a 40 percent as a 10 million film. Insert a decreasing parameter without creating problems for the sector and leaving it competitive with our direct competitor markets.” Tax credit for audiovisual the 40 percent rate can be provided as a priority for works made for distribution through a national television station and jointly in international co-production or for audiovisual works of international production; for works not made in international co-production or that are not audiovisual works of international production. The undersecretary explained in the interview, “There was a distortion to be corrected. When a foreign actor, director or screenwriter comes to Italy, he enjoys a 40 percent tax credit, but he actually pays 30 percent tax. We were giving him back more than he actually paid. The tax credit will remain at 40 percent for international films in Italy only if these productions include an Italian actor, screenwriter or director. Otherwise it will drop to 30 percent. A bonus system for those who call Italian professionals to the set. Minister Sangiuliano claims the changes because they help ”incentivize the production and promotion of quality works." By decree of the Minister is the planned way of disbursing funds of up to 200,000 euros per year for film and audiovisual promotion activities.

The Commission of Experts

To determine the amount of tax credit and the allocation of resources, a Commission to assess artistic and cultural quality is envisaged, composed of experts appointed by the Minister from among personalities of proven professional qualification in the field. A decree of the Minister will regulate the manner of constitution and operation of the Commission, the number of members, 15, and, taking into account the professionalism and commitment required, the extent of the indemnities due to them in the limit of 500,000 euros annually starting from the year 2024.


In addition, to enhance the cinema offer and in particular to foster the activities and development of movie theaters, movie theater exhibitors are granted a tax credit to the maximum extent of 40 percent of the operating costs of movie theaters, if operated by large enterprises, or to the maximum extent of 60 percent of the same costs, if operated by small or medium enterprises.

Government approves budget maneuver, here are measures for culture and tourism
Government approves budget maneuver, here are measures for culture and tourism

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