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Thread: Tourist Tax

  1. #31
    We had to pay $50 US to get out of Mexico in July. That's quite a bit more than 2 quid a night. Bit of a pain but wouldn't stop me going back.

    I have had to pay similar in the mallorca/ibiza so not sure why it wouldn't work here too.


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  3. #32
    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Whizz View Post
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    In Italy it’s only paid in 5 Star Hotels. Are Edinburgh planning for it to be in every Hotel?
    I had to pay a tax in a 3 star hotel in Italy last year

  4. #33
    @hibs.net private member Speedy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Curried View Post
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    I’ve always resented the fact that in many countries, as a “foreigner”, I’ve often had to cough-up much higher rates than a “local” to use public transport, stay in a hotel, or enter a public site.

    I fully appreciate the widely-held belief that in some countries (particularly the very poor ones), that this revenue is used to support a wider economic dividend for the population. However, in my experience, such monies invariably end up in the hands of crooked government officials or businesses.

    Scotland has experienced a massive tourism boom over recent years and hotels and tourist-based businesses are increasing their revenues year on year (see FMQ’s today). Maybe these businesses should be forking-out the tax.
    Locals pay various other taxis already that'll contribute towards infrastructure etc.

  5. #34
    My hotel stay in Crete on Saturday week has a €4 government tax per night and a 0.5% city tax. I wouldn't have checked if it wasn't for this thread.

    Tourists won't bat an eyelid.

  6. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by stoneyburn hibs View Post
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    My hotel stay in Crete on Saturday week has a €4 government tax per night and a 0.5% city tax. I wouldn't have checked if it wasn't for this thread.

    Tourists won't bat an eyelid.
    But will the council spend it wisely or just blow it on 20 mile zones being repainted.


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  7. #36
    Plenty of cities have it and I never bat an eye lid at it, would be a very good move for Edinburgh.

  8. #37
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    It would have to apply to Air BnB so presummably, they will have to register. They can then put them ina seperate planning category and control their impact on neighbours.

  9. #38
    @hibs.net private member Scouse Hibby's Avatar
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    Paid it in Vegas, currently in San Francisco and not been mentioned, New York still to come and it’s $21 per night there.
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  10. #39
    Quote Originally Posted by Scouse Hibby View Post
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    Paid it in Vegas, currently in San Francisco and not been mentioned, New York still to come and it’s $21 per night there.
    I did the exact same trip last year , pretty sure San Francisco never had 1

  11. #40
    Quote Originally Posted by danhibees1875 View Post
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    In other countries, hotels just add £2 a night onto your stay.

    This is then passed on to the council to spend on street cleaning,bin collections, etc.

    I would assume it's the same here.
    You mean jobs the council tax should be paying for?

  12. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bangkok Hibby View Post
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    You mean jobs the council tax should be paying for?
    Why do cities around the world have a tourist tax?
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  13. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bangkok Hibby View Post
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    You mean jobs the council tax should be paying for?
    Visitors put extra strain on the jobs that the council tax should pay for, but do not contribute. Edinburgh council tax payers subsidise the profits of hoteliers and student accommodation providers.

    We are told that tourism benefits the local economy. If that's the case, how come we are cutting back on services?

    I think that it's because we are spending our money supporting the tourism sector, and the tourism sector is not contributing much to the economy. I think the profits end up leaving the city.

    Tourism makes it harder for the real wealth generators like financial services to do their job, by things like road closures, and inflating property prices.

  14. #43
    Quote Originally Posted by Chic Murray View Post
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    Visitors put extra strain on the jobs that the council tax should pay for, but do not contribute. Edinburgh council tax payers subsidise the profits of hoteliers and student accommodation providers.

    We are told that tourism benefits the local economy. If that's the case, how come we are cutting back on services?

    I think that it's because we are spending our money supporting the tourism sector, and the tourism sector is not contributing much to the economy. I think the profits end up leaving the city.

    Tourism makes it harder for the real wealth generators like financial services to do their job, by things like road closures, and inflating property prices.
    If a city can show where tourist tax money is spent AND ring fence it then maybe it's an idea. Too many taxes just disappear into a black hole for me.

  15. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scouse Hibby View Post
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    Paid it in Vegas, currently in San Francisco and not been mentioned, New York still to come and it’s $21 per night there.
    Quote Originally Posted by makaveli1875 View Post
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    I did the exact same trip last year , pretty sure San Francisco never had 1
    San Fran definitely does have one. It's around 15% from memory.

    There's a Transient Occupancy Tax all across California.

  16. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bangkok Hibby View Post
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    If a city can show where tourist tax money is spent AND ring fence it then maybe it's an idea. Too many taxes just disappear into a black hole for me.
    Ring fenced / hypothecated taxes are rarely a good idea.

    As for the ‘that’s what council tax is for’...you are missing the point completely.

    Tourism, while supporting local jobs and businesses, puts additional strain on the city in terms of infrastructure and management of events etc. The additional costs of which are not directly reflected in the income to the council (council tax for example is paid by residents not tourists or businesses).

    Further more the SG takes a large chunk of the business rates and reallocates the money out of the city.

    So a tourist tax is simply an additional revenue stream for the council to partly mitigate the costs associated with having a city that has such large tourist numbers.

    That said I think this is just a symptom of the broken method of funding councils and the services hey are expected to provide.

    I would be advocating a complete change of approach where the provision of housing, education and social care is overseen by a completely different body compared to the city services provided. When you look at the money spent by the council you soon see that the vast majority of its expenditure has nothing to do with street maintenance, cleaning, infrastructure etc yet most residents seem to think this is its primary function.

    I find it rather odd that we expect Councils to be able to deliver such disparate and diverse services effectively (and therefore no surprise when they struggle to do so) and think its high time a wholesale review of provision, responsibly and funding was undertaken for local government.

  17. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by RyeSloan View Post
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    Ring fenced / hypothecated taxes are rarely a good idea.

    As for the ‘that’s what council tax is for’...you are missing the point completely.

    Tourism, while supporting local jobs and businesses, puts additional strain on the city in terms of infrastructure and management of events etc. The additional costs of which are not directly reflected in the income to the council (council tax for example is paid by residents not tourists or businesses).

    Further more the SG takes a large chunk of the business rates and reallocates the money out of the city.

    So a tourist tax is simply an additional revenue stream for the council to partly mitigate the costs associated with having a city that has such large tourist numbers.

    That said I think this is just a symptom of the broken method of funding councils and the services hey are expected to provide.

    I would be advocating a complete change of approach where the provision of housing, education and social care is overseen by a completely different body compared to the city services provided. When you look at the money spent by the council you soon see that the vast majority of its expenditure has nothing to do with street maintenance, cleaning, infrastructure etc yet most residents seem to think this is its primary function.

    I find it rather odd that we expect Councils to be able to deliver such disparate and diverse services effectively (and therefore no surprise when they struggle to do so) and think its high time a wholesale review of provision, responsibly and funding was undertaken for local government.
    Alternatively, they could move their business plan away from tourism, and manage a city that supports itself through traditional industries, such as brewing, printing, and electronics. Oh, wait...

    At least we've still got financial services. Or, they've got us, I'm never sure.

  18. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chic Murray View Post
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    Alternatively, they could move their business plan away from tourism, and manage a city that supports itself through traditional industries, such as brewing, printing, and electronics. Oh, wait...

    At least we've still got financial services. Or, they've got us, I'm never sure.
    Does the city council have a business plan?

    Seems to me tourism is being driven by the huge increase in the middle class from Asia not by a cunning plan dreamt up by the council.

    Anyway there is nothing wrong with Edinburgh’s economy and it is in fact one of the strongest in the UK across numerous metrics. On GVA per head it is second only to London.

    The financing of its council and what its council is tasked to do is where the problem lies.

  19. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by RyeSloan View Post
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    Does the city council have a business plan?

    Seems to me tourism is being driven by the huge increase in the middle class from Asia not by a cunning plan dreamt up by the council.

    Anyway there is nothing wrong with Edinburgh’s economy and it is in fact one of the strongest in the UK across numerous metrics. On GVA per head it is second only to London.

    The financing of its council and what its council is tasked to do is where the problem lies.
    Those bozos never had an original idea in their lives. Whatever is driving it, it's not them.

    I can't help feeling we are paying enough council tax to maintain the town as a middle sized city. I was interested in what you said about the government skinning off cash, and investing it outside the city.

    At the end of the day I would probably prefer the city was run by SPFL level politicians, than the pub league players we have on the council.

  20. #49
    Quote Originally Posted by RyeSloan View Post
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    Does the city council have a business plan?

    Seems to me tourism is being driven by the huge increase in the middle class from Asia not by a cunning plan dreamt up by the council.

    Anyway there is nothing wrong with Edinburgh’s economy and it is in fact one of the strongest in the UK across numerous metrics. On GVA per head it is second only to London.

    The financing of its council and what its council is tasked to do is where the problem lies.
    Short term, it's currently getting a big boost from currency devaluation.

  21. #50
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    A tourist tax is great idea and it gives councils extra revenue to run their authority. Our councils badly need more revenue and ways to raise it as Holyrood has been power grabbing for at least 10 years

  22. #51
    @hibs.net private member Hibbyradge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RyeSloan View Post
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    Does the city council have a business plan?

    Seems to me tourism is being driven by the huge increase in the middle class from Asia not by a cunning plan dreamt up by the council.

    Anyway there is nothing wrong with Edinburgh’s economy and it is in fact one of the strongest in the UK across numerous metrics. On GVA per head it is second only to London.

    The financing of its council and what its council is tasked to do is where the problem lies.
    The council is an easy target, but on this occasion that's not true and it's not fair.

    The council have been working at increasing tourism in the city for decades.
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  23. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chic Murray View Post
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    Those bozos never had an original idea in their lives. Whatever is driving it, it's not them.

    I can't help feeling we are paying enough council tax to maintain the town as a middle sized city. I was interested in what you said about the government skinning off cash, and investing it outside the city.

    At the end of the day I would probably prefer the city was run by SPFL level politicians, than the pub league players we have on the council.
    Yeah I think our view on the quality of local administration leadership is aligned.

    I can’t remember the exact numbers re local authority financing and think the methodologies have changed over the years, what I am certain of is that Edinburgh gets a bum deal and is bottom of the list on £ spent per head of population.

  24. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bangkok Hibby View Post
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    If a city can show where tourist tax money is spent AND ring fence it then maybe it's an idea. Too many taxes just disappear into a black hole for me.
    I have to agree, and the biggest argument against the tax, for me, is that Edinburgh Council will just see it as more money to pass on to their pals.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hibbyradge View Post
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    The council is an easy target, but on this occasion that's not true and it's not fair.

    The council have been working at increasing tourism in the city for decades.
    Plot on a graph though, and you will probably see a massive upsurge in the last 10 years, mostly from China and the Sub Continent.

    Tourism hasn't always been unpopular in Edinburgh. Who wants to live a place that people don't want to visit.

    The council's "strategy" has been to pack in as many visitors as it possibly can. In the process they have ignored the needs of residents, eg getting around town, getting to work etc; they have also sold an increasingly tatty and overpriced product.

    Last year there were rats in the bins on the Royal Mile. That's how inept they actually are, they can't even maintain the product.

  25. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chic Murray View Post
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    I have to agree, and the biggest argument against the tax, for me, is that Edinburgh Council will just see it as more money to pass on to their pals.



    .
    Who are their pals?

  26. #55
    First Team Regular Chic Murray's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CropleyWasGod View Post
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    Who are their pals?
    Management consultants, departmental managers, providers of mass transit systems, events promoters, artisan coffee sellers, pop up publicans. I'm stretching the meaning of pals, I admit, as psychopaths are incapable of genuine friendships.

  27. #56
    @hibs.net private member CropleyWasGod's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chic Murray View Post
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    Management consultants, departmental managers, providers of mass transit systems, events promoters, artisan coffee sellers, pop up publicans. I'm stretching the meaning of pals, I admit, as psychopaths are incapable of genuine friendships.
    You mean they won't spend it on what it's meant for?

    And, "psychopaths"?
    Last edited by CropleyWasGod; 11-10-2018 at 12:37 PM.

  28. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by CropleyWasGod View Post
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    You mean they won't spend it on what it's meant for?

    And, "psychopaths"?
    Yes, and not really, but you know? I don't really like them.

  29. #58
    @hibs.net private member CropleyWasGod's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chic Murray View Post
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    Yes, and not really, but you know? I don't really like them.
    Really? I hadn't noticed

    I'd rather give them the chance myself, and, if they **** it up.... bin them. And don't collect the bin.

  30. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chic Murray View Post
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    Management consultants, departmental managers, providers of mass transit systems, events promoters, artisan coffee sellers, pop up publicans. I'm stretching the meaning of pals, I admit, as psychopaths are incapable of genuine friendships.

    Which 'they' are you referring to here - elected Councillors or the permanent officials?

    Implementing a Tourist Tax is a complete no-brainer. The vast number of visitors generated by a mixture of the dumb luck of our history and location, the hard work that goes into maintaining profile through the festivals and Hogmanay and the city's attractiveness as a work and academic location means that a huge amount of demand is placed on public services without a direct means of recouping the costs.

    All that visitor traffic is good for business and jobs - and incidentally has a significant trickle-down effect elsewhere in Scotland geographically - but the Council itself sees little benefit in revenue terms to assist in the provision of all the services a city needs to support these visitor activities.

    There's a mechanism for regulating how the Council spends its money - local elections. So if you don't like how the SNP-led coalition currently in charge of Edinburgh is performing, whether on counting demonstration sizes or providing decent roads or bin collections, you can vote for someone else next time.

  31. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by CropleyWasGod View Post
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    Really? I hadn't noticed

    I'd rather give them the chance myself, and, if they **** it up.... bin them. And don't collect the bin.
    You can't bin them, due to the electoral system, and the fact that all parties have the same policies.

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