Green councillors launch petition for “tourist tax” powers

Green councillors are seeking public support for Edinburgh City Council to be given the powers to introduce a transient visitor levy or “tourist tax”.

Launching a petition the Greens are urging people who support a tourist tax to sign up and send a clear message to government minister Fiona Hyslop that the council should be allowed to set a levy as is the norm for many cities throughout Europe.

Green culture spokesperson Cllr Alex Staniforth said

“We are in the midst of the annual celebration of culture which is the Edinburgh Festival and the city prides itself in welcoming people from across the world. Yet we also see visible sign of the strain that this puts on city services, which are used by both residents and visitors. A modest visitor levy is a means of raising money for both those services and to invest in the quality of city infrastructure and was first proposed by Green councillors 7 years ago.

“So it is heartening now to see the level of consensus that such a levy should be introduced. One of the remaining barriers is for the Scottish Parliament and Scottish Government to give the council the necessary powers. That is why I am asking people within the city to send a clear message that Edinburgh should have the powers it needs.”

Sign the petition. A council background paper on transient visitor levy gives further details.