02 December 2019

Aberdeenshire Council responds to the Scottish Government Transient Visitor Levy proposals

Scottish Government proposals for the introduction of a Transient Visitor Levy have been discussed by Aberdeenshire Council.

The scheme will create a discretionary power for local authorities to apply a tax or levy on overnight visitor stays.

Members of the council’s Infrastructure Services Committee last week discussed a response to the formal consultation and, after debate, supported the creation of a national framework and principles but made strong calls for local control over rates.

The council says this will remove separate local authority areas from being in competition with one another and will also make it easier for all visitors and accommodation providers to understand the levy cost.

Councillors have stressed that whatever proposal is introduced in the fulness of time, it must provide the best possible deal for Aberdeenshire.

The local authority recently engaged with operators within the tourism industry to enable it to make an informed response to the survey on the proposals.

The ISC was advised that various views – both for and against the creation of a levy – had been indicated by a number of tourism-related businesses and organisations representing the industry.

Councillors heard that, allowing for scrutiny and possible secondary legislation should the levy be introduced, it is likely to be the summer of 2021 before the power is available to local authorities.

The Scottish Government has also suggested that a further period of at least one year to allow for consultation with the industry could further delay the generation of any levy until 2022.