Tourist tax needed to balance books, say SNP
Councillor Maxine Smith, leader of the SNP opposition group, stressed local authorities need to find ways to become more commercial to balance the books.
She said the council, which does not directly benefit from tourism income, must foot the bill for roads, potholes, litter collection and public toilet provision – facilities which tourists expect.
Ms Smith also queried the FSB’s choice of question. She said if questions were asked such as, “would you like a more quality experience for visitors,” they might get a different response.
She added: “I am sure if hotels were much better informed about the benefits, the percentages of those interested would increase.”
Ms Smith also said she is “heartened” the figure is now 73% against, which she said is lower than before. She feels the hospitality sector may be recognising a levy of £1-a-night per tourist would make “little odds” when they could be paying anything between £60 and £250 a night.
Councillors have previously voiced concerns the £1-a-night could easily be pushed up to £2 after a year, but Ms Smith said consultation would take place before changes were made.