Levy bill

MSPs call for feedback on proposed tourist tax

Edinburgh Festival visitors
A tourist tax is proposed for Edinburgh (pic: Terry Murden)

A consultation into the tourist tax legislation, officially known as The Visitor Levy (Scotland) Bill, will be launched today.

The Bill was introduced in the Scottish Parliament in May 2023 and aims to give local authorities the ability to add an additional charge to overnight accommodation. This will be based on a percentage of the cost, with the rate set by individual councils.

Edinburgh City Council has already indicated that it will introduce a levy, arguing that it has broad support among residents and that it would not deter visitors.

The parliament’s Local Government, Housing and Planning Committee is seeking views from businesses, tourism organisations, community groups, individuals, and other key stakeholders over the summer ahead of its consideration of the general principles of the Bill.

Committee Convener Ariane Burgess said: “Tourism is one of Scotland’s leading growth industries, contributing more than £4 billion to our economy each year, so ensuring these proposals work for those connected to the industry is essential.

“The Bill provides a framework for local authorities to decide how money raised should be spent within local communities, how flexible they can be with where and when the levy would apply and whether certain exemptions should apply, all of which we want to gather detailed views on from urban, rural and island communities across Scotland.”

The call for views will run from Monday 26 June to Friday 1 September.

Those wishing to respond can choose to provide a detailed response to the Committee about the Bill or make brief and general comments, joining the conversation about the Bill on the Committee’s engagement website.

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