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Cornwall Council to explore tourist tax

Cornwall Council to explore tourist tax

Published by Emma Carton at 9:18am 14th January 2019.

By Local Democracy Reporter, Richard Whitehouse

Cornwall Council is working on the possibility of introducing a tourist tax to help raise money to fund council services.

The council is exploring the idea after a number of people suggested it as a way to raise additional funds in public consultation about the council's budget plans.

Julian German, deputy leader of Cornwall Council, commented on the issue after a councillor raised concerns about the possibility at a member briefing on the council budget:

"In terms of a potential tourist tax I said there would be investigation rather than something we will do.

"It is something that has come up for a few years from residents that they want us to consider".

He said that the Local Government Association (LGA) had launched a piece of work looking at the possibility of tourist taxes and how they might work and Cornwall Council was getting involved in the work:

"Cornwall has a very strong tourism economy as do other local authority areas such as Bournemouth and Cumbria.

"We will be working alongside the LGA and will bring that back to Cornwall Council".

The possibility of a tourist tax has been discussed several times before by the council but there had been fears about the impact that it could have on tourism businesses in Cornwall.

However the proposals have been considered in other parts of the UK. A recent survey by Edinburgh City Council found that 85% of respondents were in support of a £2 tourist tax.

Under proposals put forward there, tourists would pay a levy of either 2% or £2 per room per night.

The idea was backed by 90% of residents and 51% of accommodation providers in the city.

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