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The Scottish Government has opened a consultation for members of the public, businesses and the tourism sector to give their views on the design of a levy which would enable local authorities charge visitors a fee for staying overnight in their area. All local authorities are not obliged to impose a tax, but will be able to if they consider it would be appropriate in their local area.

Edinburgh has already agreed at council level that they would impose the tourist tax or Transient Visitor Levy in common with many other towns and cities across Europe and the US.

The Scottish Government says that money generated by local authorities who decide to impose the charge would be retained by them for reinvesting back into ‘tourism-related activities’ in that community.

Public Finance Minister Kate Forbes 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.”

The consultation is open until 2 December 2019.

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