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Article published 05/07/2023

The Visitor Levy (Scotland) Bill

The Scottish Government has proposed a new law which would allow local authorities to introduce a visitor levy. Its aim is to generate funds to invest in local facilities and services that visitors use.

The Visitor Levy (Scotland) Bill was introduced to the Scottish Parliament in May 2023.

If passed, the legislation will give local authorities the ability to add a tax to overnight accommodation if they wish to do so. This will be based on a percentage of the cost, with the rate set by individual councils.

Local authorities could choose to apply the levy in all or part of their area – but will have to consult with local communities, businesses, and visitor organisations before introducing a levy. Funds raised must be reinvested in local facilities and services that are substantially for or used by visitors.

Have your say | the consultation

Knowing your views will help the Scottish Parliament to think about ways that could improve the proposed law, and whether the draft Bill should be passed into law by the whole Parliament.


Visitor Levy (Scotland) Bill: call for views

MSPs on the Scottish Parliament’s Local Government, Housing and Planning Committee are looking at the details of the proposals and want to know what people think about them.

It wants to consider things like:

  • views on whether local authorities should have a power to place a levy
  • the impact the Bill will have in your area and across different parts of Scotland
  • views on the Bill’s proposal to allow councils to set the levy as a percentage of the chargeable transaction and absence of an upper limit
  • local exemptions and rebates
  • records keeping, reporting, and reviewing
  • proceeds of the scheme should only be used for “developing, supporting, and sustaining facilities and services which are substantially for or used by persons visiting the area of the local authority for leisure purposes.”
  • accommodation providers to identify the chargeable part of their overnight rates, keep records, make returns, and make payments to relevant local authorities

The consultation page has a link to the full Bill so that you can read the background to the proposal before submitting your thoughts.

The deadline to submit your views is: Friday 15 September 2023.

Go to the Scottish Parliament website to have your say.

Visitor Levy (Scotland) Bill: Financial Memorandum

A separate consultation is also taking place. As with all Bills, the Finance and Public Administration Committee invites written evidence on the estimated financial implications of the Bill as set out in its accompanying Financial Memorandum.

This consultation focuses on financial implications to organisations and whether they have been accurately reflected within the Bill.

The consultation page has a link to the full Bill to assist with your feedback.

The deadline to submit your views is: Friday 1 September 2023.

Submit your thoughts via the Scottish Parliament website

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