Proposals from Edinburgh City Council for the introduction of a Transient Visitor Levy (TVL), better known as the “Tourist Tax” have won overwhelming support from Edinburgh residents following a public consultation.
The consultation on the council’s draft proposals suggested a charge of either 2% or Â£2 per room per night, chargeable all year round on all forms of accommodation, including short-term lets, but capped at seven nights, was supported by 85% of those who responded.
In addition to the support from 9 out of 10 Edinburgh residents, more than half of accommodation providers who responded (51%) also backed the introduction of a levy.
Following the publication of the consultation response, Kezia Dugdale MSP lodged a motion in the Scottish Parliament recognising the positive impact that a tourist levy could have on Edinburgh and calling on the Scottish Government to give local authorities the necessary powers to introduce local tourist taxes.
Commenting on the consultation response, Lothian Labour MSP, Kezia Dugdale said:
“It has been encouraging to see the consultation responses show that there is overwhelming demand for the introduction of a Tourist Tax in Edinburgh. The levy on those visiting the city could raise between Â£11.6m and 14.6m every year and assist the council in delivering investment in our schools, roads and community services. Asking tourists to contribute towards the upkeep of the city through a visitor levy is the right thing to do.
“It’s not just residents who support a tourist tax, but local accommodation providers as well who have recognised that a small levy won’t have a negative impact on tourism to the city and that they would also benefit from additional investment in local public services and infrastructure.
“The SNP Government now need to take notice and give local authorities the powers they need in order to raise revenues through a tourist tax to help alleviate the pressure from the budget cuts being passed on to them. Local government should be trusted to take the best decisions in the interests of local people.”