A new tax that went into effect for owners of recreational vessels in Croatia has upset local marine associations. The increase in the “sojourn” tax rate is five to six times higher than the previous taxes.

Total-Croatia-News.com reports that owners of yachts from 9m-12m previously had to pay around €150 per year. The tax will now be about €775. Vessels above 20m previously had to pay €227. They will now pay €1,939.

The Marina Association at the Croatian Chamber of Commerce has sent a letter of complaint to the government. Association president Sean Lisjak said the increase was introduced during the peak of the tourist season and did not receive much attention. Now, there has been a backlash among boaters and marina owners. “We’ve sent a letter asking for an explanation as to why these draconian fees are being introduced and what type of consequences they will have for nautical tourism in Croatia,” he said. “Clients are really disgusted with this decision. Depending on vessel category the increases range from 56 to 753%.”

Lisjak urged the parliamentary committee overseeing the tax to reconsider and find a “rational” solution. “If something does not change, one can expect a dramatic drop in the nautical traffic in the Adriatic,” he said. “Every kuna (local currency) means a lot, but it’s better to earn that kuna in the marinas and restaurants than from the tax.