The Relaunch Decree becomes law: here are all the measures for culture and tourism

The Senate has placed confidence in the conversion bill of the Relaunch Decree, which thus becomes law. Here are all the measures for culture and tourism.

With 159 votes in favor and 121 against, the Senate placed a confidence vote on the bill converting the Relaunch Decree, which already got the green light from the House last July 9. The bill can thus be converted into law. The decree distributes 55 billion euros to revive Italy in the aftermath of the Covid-19 coronavirus epidemic and to limit its impact on the country’s economy. Let’s see in detail what are all the measures taken for the culture sector.

IRAP exemption. Article 24 establishes that the payment of the balance of the regional tax on productive activities for the tax period in progress on December 31, 2019, without prejudice to the payment of the advance due for the same tax period, is not due for companies that invoice less than 250 million euros. The measure also affects the culture sector.

Rental tax credit (Art. 28). Individuals engaged in business, art or profession activities, with revenues or compensation not exceeding 5 million euros in the tax period preceding the one in progress on the date of entry into force of this decree, are entitled to a tax credit to the extent of 60 percent of the monthly amount of the rent, lease or concession fee for real estate for non-housing use intended for the conduct of industrial, commercial, handicraft, agricultural, tourist interest or for the habitual and professional exercise of self-employment. The measure also covers theaters, cinemas, associations and cultural foundations, as specified by MiBACT last May 14.

Protection of artistic and quality ceramics. Article 52-ter allocates 2 million euros, for the year 2021, for the development and implementation of projects aimed at the support and enhancement of artistic and traditional ceramic activity. By decree of the Ministry of Economic Development, after consultation with the minister of cultural heritage and the minister of education, the criteria for reporting and verification are identified. The resources come from a reduction in the Mef fund for unavoidable management needs.

Cassa integrazione in deroga (Art. 68). Employers who suspend or reduce work activity in the year 2020 due to events attributable to the COVID-19 epidemiological emergency may apply for ordinary wage supplementation treatment or access to ordinary allowance with COVID-19 emergency causal, for a maximum duration of nine weeks for periods starting from February 23, 2020 to August 31, 2020, increased by an additional five weeks in the same period for only those employers who have fully utilized the period previously granted up to the maximum duration of nine weeks. For employers in the tourism, fairs and congresses, amusement parks, live entertainment and movie theaters sectors, the above four weeks may also be taken for periods beginning before September 1, 2020, provided that the individuals have fully utilized the period previously granted up to the maximum duration of fourteen weeks.

600 euros for entertainment workers. Article 84 establishes that the 600-euro monthly allowance is also granted for the months of April and May to intermittent workers, who have worked for at least thirty days in the period between January 1, 2019 and January 31, 2020; to intermittent workers enrolled in the Performing Arts Workers Fund, who do not benefit from the wage supplementation treatment.

Tax credit for sanitization and purchase of protective equipment. Article 125 stipulates that, in order to encourage the adoption of measures aimed at containing and countering the spread of Covid-19, to entities engaged in business, arts and professions, noncommercial entities, including Third Sector entities and civilly recognized religious entities as well as non-hotel accommodation facilities of a non-business nature provided that they have the identification code, are entitled to a tax credit equal to 60 percent of the expenses incurred in 2020 for the sanitization of environments and tools used, as well as for the purchase of personal protective equipment and other devices to ensure the health of workers and users. The tax credit is up to a maximum of 60,000 euros for each beneficiary, within the overall limit of 200 million euros for the year 2020.

Contribution for music education (Art. 105-ter). Families with Isee of less than 30,000 euros are granted a contribution of up to 200 euros for expenses incurred for the attendance of music lessons of children under the age of 16 already enrolled as of February 23, 2020 in music schools registered in the relevant regional registers as well as for the attendance of choirs, bands and music schools recognized by a public administration. A 10 million euro fund is provided for these grants. The resources again come from a reduction in the Mef fund for unavoidable management needs.

Vacation bonus (Art. 176). For 2020, a bonus is granted to families with Isee of less than 40 thousand euros for the payment of services offered domestically by tourist accommodation businesses, agritourism and bed &breakfasts in possession of the titles prescribed by national and regional regulations for the exercise of tourist accommodation activities. The bonus is 150 euros for one-person households, for 300 from two-person households, up to 500 for others. The bonus is subject to the following conditions: the expenses must be incurred in a lump sum in relation to services rendered by a single tourist accommodation business, a single agritourism or a single bed & breakfast; the total consideration must be documented by electronic invoice or commercial document; and the payment for the service must be paid without the help, intervention or intermediation of entities operating telematic platforms or portals other than travel agencies and tour operators. The credit is usable at 80 percent as a discount on the consideration due and 20 percent as a tax deduction.

IMU exemptions for the tourism sector (Art. 177). For the year 2020, the first instalment of IMU is not due for property used as seaside, lake and river bathing establishments, as well as property of thermal establishments; property falling in the cadastral category D/2 and property of agritourism, tourist villages, youth hostels, mountain refuges, sea and mountain colonies, short-stay room rentals, vacation houses and apartments, bed & breakfasts, residences and campsites, provided that the owners thereof are also operators of the activities; real estate falling in cadastral category D in use by enterprises engaged in the business of setting up exhibition facilities as part of fairs or events. In addition, a 76.55-million-euro fund is established to compensate municipalities in the face of reduced revenue from the IMU exemption.

Tourism Fund. Article 178 establishes a tourism fund at MiBACT of 50 million euros for the year 2020. The fund is aimed at subscribing to units or shares of collective investment undertakings and investment funds, managed by asset management companies, for the purpose of purchasing, renovating and enhancing the value of properties intended for tourism-related activities. The MiBACT, in consultation with the Mef, will adopt the implementing decree that will establish the terms and conditions of the fund’s operation, including how the manager will be selected. The fund may be increased by 100 million in 2021.

Tourism promotion in Italy. Article 179 establishes a “Fund for the promotion of tourism in Italy” with the allocation of 20 million euros for 2020. An implementing decree by MiBACT will determine the recipients of the resources and the initiatives to be financed.

Tourist tax relief. Article 180 establishes, for the year 2020, a 100-million-euro fund to partially compensate municipalities for the loss of revenue resulting from the failure to collect the tourist tax or landing fee. A decree of the Ministry of the Interior, in consultation with the MEF and after agreement at the State-City and Local Government Conference, will establish the distribution of the fund.

Support for tourism activities (Art. 181). Concessionaires of public land are exempted from paying the tax for occupation of public spaces and areas. The exemption is valid from May 1 to October 31, 2020. A dual relief fund is also established for the year 2020 (for relief from, on the one hand, the occupancy tax and, on the other hand, the temporary occupancy fee), with an allocation of 127.5 and 12.5 million euros intended to compensate municipalities for the loss of revenue. Also extended to 2033 are the concessions of stands for the exercise of trade in public areas expiring by December 31, 2020, with assignment to the person who owns the business, whether he conducts it directly or has conferred it under temporary management, subject to verification of the existence of the prescribed requirements of honorability and professionalism, including registration in the chamber of commerce registers as an active firm where there are no serious and proven causes of temporary impediment to the exercise of the activity. The regions will have the power to provide that municipalities may assign, at the request of those entitled, as a priority and by way of derogation from any other criterion, concessions for vacant, vacant or newly established stands, where necessary, to operators, in possession of the prescribed requirements, who have been excluded from the selection procedures provided for by current legislation or who, at the outcome of these procedures, have not achieved the reassignment of the concession.

Bonus trains and museums for students (Art. 182). A bonus is established to promote cultural tourism, intended for students enrolled in courses for a bachelor’s degree, university master’s degree and doctoral degree at universities and institutions of higher education are recognized, for the year 2020: the bonus allows free travel on the Italian railway network for the duration of one month of their choice and free admission, also for one month, to museums, monuments, galleries and archaeological areas located in the national territory and educational exhibitions held in them. The Train and Museum Bonus Fund is allocated 10 million euros for 2020. The manner of allocation will be identified by an implementing decree of the Ministry of Infrastructure, in consultation with the Mef.

Extension of travel, accommodation and package tour voucher refunds (Art. 182). Travel vouchers can be used for eighteen months (also valid for vouchers already issued), instead of one year as originally established by the “Cure Italy” decree. The vouchers are also recognized for study stays of fourth-year secondary school students as part of international student mobility programs referring to the 2019/2020 and 2020/2021 school years. A fund of 5 million euros for 2020 and 1 million euros for 2021 is established to compensate voucher holders. Resources from the Fund for the Promotion of Tourism in Italy established in Article 179 will be used.

Increase in the Entertainment, Cinema and Audiovisual Emergency Fund (Art. 182). New allocations for the fund: 245 million for 2020 and 145 for 2021 (compared to 130 provided for 2020). The fund may be increased by 50 million in 2021.

Emergency Fund for Cultural Enterprises and Institutions (Art. 182). A Fund for the Emergencies of Cultural Enterprises and Institutions is established, with an allocation of 171.5 million euros for the year 2020, to support bookstores, the entire publishing industry, including companies and workers in the book production chain, starting with those who derive income mainly from copyrights, as well as museums and other cultural institutions and places. The fund is also intended to provide compensation for losses resulting from the cancellation, as a result of the Covid-19 epidemic emergency, of shows, fairs, congresses and exhibitions. By one or more decrees of the MiBACT, to be adopted within 30 days from the date of entry into force of the law converting this decree, the manner of distribution and allocation of resources shall be established.

100 million for museums (Art. 182). In order to ensure the operation of state museums and places of culture, taking into account the loss of revenue from ticket sales resulting from the adoption of the Covid-19 containment measures, the expenditure of 100 million euros is authorized for the year 2020. The sums shall be allocated to the MiBACT expenditure estimate.

Allocation of the FUS for opera and symphony foundations (Art. 182). The share of the Single Fund for Performing Arts allocated to opera-symphony foundations for 2020 and 2021 shall be apportioned on the basis of the average of the percentages established for the three-year period 2017-2019, notwithstanding the general criteria and apportionment percentages provided for in Article 1 of the MiBACT Decree of February 3, 2014. For the year 2022, the criteria shall be adjusted due to the activity carried out in the face of the health emergency by Covid-19, employment protection needs, and the rescheduling of performances. For FUS-funded entities other than opera and symphony foundations, an advance of up to 80 percent of the amount awarded for the year 2019 shall be provided.

FUS to support employees (Art. 182). Entities financed by the FUS will also be able to use the resources of the fund to supplement income support measures for their employees, to an extent not exceeding, however, the fixed part of the continuously paid remuneration provided for by national collective bargaining, in compliance with budget balance and, in any case, limited to the period of reduced activity of the entities.

New beneficiaries of the Art Bonus (Art. 182). The Art Bonus tax credit is also extended to instrumental ensembles, concert and choral societies, circuses and traveling shows.

Parma Italian Capital of Culture 2021 (Art. 182). The city of Parma will also be the Italian Capital of Culture in 2021.

Bergamo and Brescia Italian Capitals of Culture 2023 (art. 182). For 2023, the title of Italian Capital of Culture will be awarded to Bergamo and Brescia in order to promote the socio-economic and cultural revitalization of the supra-provincial area most affected by the COVID-19 epidemic emergency. To this end, the cities of Bergamo and Brescia will submit to MiBACT, by January 31, 2022, a unified project of initiatives aimed at increasing the enjoyment of tangible and intangible cultural heritage.

“Netflix” of culture (Art. 182). In order to support the resumption of cultural activities, MiBACT will create a digital platform for the enjoyment of cultural heritage and performances, including through the participation of the National Promotion Institute, which may involve other public and private entities. Conditions or incentives may be established to ensure that operators receiving the relevant public funding provide or produce content for the platform itself. For the “Netflix” of culture, 10 million euros are allocated for the year 2020.

Increased allocation of the “Culture Card” Fund. Article 182 establishes an increase of 15 million euros for 2020 for the “Culture Card” Fund reserved for 18-year-olds.

Fund for live performance. Art. 182 also establishes a fund for the support of live performance activities, with an allocation of 10 million euros for the year 2020, intended for companies and entities producing and distributing music performances, including entities organized in cooperative or associative form, formally established by Feb. 28, 2020, and which are not already financed under the Single Fund for Performing Arts, for live performance activities staged as of the date of entry into force of the law converting the Relaunch Decree until December 31, 2020, including for the purpose of making up for lost revenue from ticket sales and additional organizational expenses resulting from the restriction of space capacity, as well as the implementation of prescriptions and health protection measures imposed by the COVID-19 epidemiological emergency. MiBACT, in consultation with Mef, will issue the implementing decree for apportionments.

Culture Fund. Article 183 establishes a fund with an endowment of 50 million euros for the year 2020, aimed at promoting investments and supporting other interventions for the protection, conservation, restoration, enjoyment, enhancement and digitization of tangible and intangible cultural heritage. A decree of the MiBACT, in consultation with the Mef, establishes the terms and conditions for the operation of the fund. The endowment of the fund may be increased by the financial contribution of private entities: this contribution may also consist of microfinancing, widespread patronage, popular shareholding and crowdfunding operations suitable for allowing broad community participation in the financing of culture. A portion of the fund may also be used to finance a guarantee fund for the granting of interest subsidies and loans for interventions to safeguard and enhance cultural heritage. The fund will be managed and administered free of charge by the Institute for Sports Credit under separate management in accordance with the procedures defined by a decree of MiBACT, to be adopted within 30 days of the entry into force of the Relaunch Decree. The Culture Fund may be increased by 50 million euros in 2021.

2 million for UNESCO heritage Padua (Art. 184). For the realization and completion of the program of the city of Padua nominated by UNESCO for inscription on the World Heritage List with the project Padua Urbs Pieta, Giotto, the Scrovegni Chapel and the pictorial cycles of the fourteenth century, the expenditure of 2 million euros is authorized for the year 2020.

Support of artists, performers and performers. Art. 185 stipulated that any residual assets in the budget of the Istituto mutualistico artisti interpreti esecutori (IMAIE) shall be distributed among artists, performers and performers, from the music area and the audiovisual area.

Support for intangible cultural heritage protected by UNESCO. To support investments aimed at upgrading and enhancing the intangible cultural heritage of Unesco, as defined by the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, adopted in Paris on October 17, 2003, due to the epidemiological emergency from COVID-19 and the restrictive measures adopted in relation to it, the expenditure of 1 million euros is authorized for the year 2020.

Pictured: Palazzo Madama, seat of the Senate. Ph. Credit Paul Hermans

The Relaunch Decree becomes law: here are all the measures for culture and tourism
The Relaunch Decree becomes law: here are all the measures for culture and tourism

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