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19/09/2019

Consultation on The Principles of a Local Discretionary Transient Visitor Levy (TVL) or Tourist Tax

Consultation on The Principles of a Local Discretionary Transient Visitor Levy (TVL) or Tourist Tax

Consultation on The Principles of a Local Discretionary
Transient Visitor Levy (TVL) or Tourist Tax

Please take time to complete this survey before 3 October.
Thank You.

Background
The ASSC, alongside other industry stakeholders, has consistently voiced concerns at proposals for the introduction of a tourist tax in Scotland, whether at a national or local level. However, the Scottish Government has now committed to introducing a Bill on the issue and earlier this month it launched a consultation on its plans for a local discretionary tourism levyto allow local councils to choose to apply a levy on visitors overnight.

The ASSC has always stated that any moves to introduce a tourism tax or levy in Scotland should be subject to extensive, genuine and meaningful consultation with stakeholders. We therefore welcome the opportunity to provide evidence to the Scottish Government’s consultation to share the views of our sector and help shape the framework for this levy.

As stated, the ASSC and other industry stakeholders remainopposed to any form of additional tax on Scotland’s international and domestic visitors. However, given that the Scottish Government has committed to introducing a Bill, it is important that those most affected by the levy should have a say on any new framework. As a sector we should try to influence the Bill’s progress in a way that will cause the least amount of disruption and negative consequences for ASSC members, visitors and the industry as a whole.

The Scottish Government’s Consultation
In terms of the consultation, members of the public, businesses and the tourism sector are being asked for their views on the design of a levy which would let local authorities, who deem it appropriate for their local circumstances, to charge visitors a fee for staying overnight in their area.

At present, local authorities do not have the power to introduce a tourist levy in their area and would require legislation from the Scottish Parliament for it to proceed. This new consultation is not about the pros and cons of implementing a tourist tax in Scotland, or in a specific locality, but deals with the specifics around implementation, the creation of a national framework, powers being devolved to local government, as well as the design, rate and administration of the charge.

The money generated by local authorities who decide to introduce a visitor levy would be retained by them for reinvesting back into tourism-related activities in that community.

The ASSC, as well as the Scottish Tourism Alliance, welcomes this commitment that revenues should be used to fund local authority expenditure on these activities only.

Following the launch of the consultation, the Scottish Government’s Minister Public Finance and Digital Economy, Kate Forbes MSP said:

“The Scottish Government is committed to devolving more power to local authorities as well as taking steps to safeguard the future of Scotland’s vibrant tourism industry.That is why we are looking for views from members of the public as well as industry on the principles of a transient visitor levy – often called a tourist tax.

“This will not be a national tax and it will be for individual local authorities to decide whether or not to apply an overnight fee if they consider it appropriate for the local community. Money raised by those local authorities who introduce a levy will be retained by them to invest in local tourism activity, helping to safeguard the sustainability of the industry.

“I hope that as many people as possible respond to this consultation to ensure that the legislation strengthens local decision making and enhances tourism across Scotland.”

ASSC Survey
The ASSC wishes to engage with our valued members, so that we can accurately reflect the views of the sector in our own substantive response to the consultation. To that end, we would appreciate if you could undertake this survey to help inform our response by 3rd October 2019.

Once we have collated views, we will provide a briefing paper in order to inform your own individual submission to the consultation. This will be distributed the week commencing 7th October. The Scottish Government’s consultation is open until 2nd December 2019.

We know that a ‘one size fits all’ scenario will not work across all accommodation providers, particularly in the self-catering sector. The survey will allow us to represent the majority view when we respond as ASSC, but it is essential that members respond individually too. Our briefing document will reflect what our members are telling us, but will also be informed by our communication and collaboration with industry colleagues both here and in Europe.
Many thanks in advance for taking part, and helping us to Support Self-Catering in Scotland.
Best wishes,
Fiona Campbell
Chief Executive

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