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Why the Austrian city of Innsbruck is searching for more residents

Aaron Burnett
Aaron Burnett - [email protected]
Why the Austrian city of Innsbruck is searching for more residents
Christmas market in Innsbruck's old town (Innsbruck Tourismus, Photographer: Christof Lackner)

Long renowned as a vacation destination and a popular spot for many second homeowners, the Tyrolean capital of Innsbruck is kicking off an information campaign to encourage people to live there full-time.

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The number of people who make Innsbruck their main residence directly influences the amount of federal funding the state of Tyrol and city of Innsbruck can get – and that number has been falling for years.

That’s prompted Mayor Georg Willi (Green) to kick off the campaign to get people to move there to make it their primary home, establishing it legally as their main residence with the city’s local authority.

In January 2016, 133,222 people had Innsbruck registered as their Hauptwohnsitz – or main residence with the city’s local authority. That means they pay principal taxes in Tyrol, and their Innsbruck residence is listed on their Meldezettel, or registration certificate. That compares with 131,384 today, alongside 25,664 people who make their Nebenwohnsitz – or second residence, in the city.

READ ALSO: The best places to live in Austria that are not Vienna

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Councillors with the liberal NEOS party however, are criticising the Green Mayor Georg Willi for not offering financial incentives as part of the information campaign, for example to students who move to Innsbruck.

“I would have liked to have agree to a long-term ‘Welcome to Innsbruck’ package that really would have guaranteed a boost in registrations,” said local NEOS councillor Julia Seidl.

Second home ownership is now heavily restricted in Tyrol. In addition, only EEA or Swiss nationals, alongside Austrians – are allowed to purchase property in Tyrol – even as a main residence. Non-EU nationals are generally not allowed to buy.

READ ALSO: Property buying rules for foreigners in Tyrol and Vorarlberg

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