Tourist Tax deal comes just in time for key Council budget meeting

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Scotland Tourist Tax. Illustration (Photo credit: Sebastian Faugstad)

The last-minute Scottish Budget deal reached by the SNP and the Greens yesterday has come just in time for a key council budget meeting in the City Chambers today. The agreement reached between the two parties includes more core funding for councils and extra power for them to levy local parking and tourist taxes. 

Scottish Greens have been clear about wanting to raise a tourist tax that would see visitors pay a per-room per-night levy on top of the price of accommodation. They say this will raise millions in revenue for local culture and the infrastructure that residents and visitors use. 

Our local government reporter, Ryan Traynor, is at the crucial first meeting of the Council’s Finance Committee today:

On their website, they stated that “our capital city welcomes the world and we want to make the most of this opportunity.”

The Scottish Tourism Alliance (STA) stated that they are beyond disappointed with this decision, not long after the deal was struck. 

The STA fear that this decision will deliver a significant blow to their industry. 

“A decision of such importance and one which has the potential to cause significant negative impact, not just to businesses who provide visitor accommodation but to all businesses that benefit from tourism economic active, has been reached prematurely”, the STA continue. 

The STA has further stated that they are hoping for more economic analysis and scrutiny of the decision and its future impact on Scotland’s economy.

The issue of a Transient Visitor Levy- otherwise known as a Tourist Tax- has been a controversial one ever since a formal consultation on the issue was announced by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon in October.

Like the Greens, The City of Edinburgh Council have been strongly in favour of introducing the tax in order to help cut a budget deficit of £42million over the next two years.

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