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Edinburgh moves step closer to £2-a-night tourist tax

City councillors agree to put visitor charges plan before the Scottish Government.

Edinburgh would be first UK city to have a tourist levy.
Edinburgh would be first UK city to have a tourist levy. STV

Edinburgh is one step closer to becoming the first city in the UK to introduce a tourist tax after the move was approved by councillors.

The transient visitor levy (TVL) proposals include a £2-per-night room charge, a cap of seven consecutive nights and investing an estimated £14.6m every year.

Councillors backed the plans by 43 votes to 15 and the local authority will now put its recommendations to ministers and MSPs to have the final say.

The Scottish Government has indicated that councils will be given the powers to introduce the tax, which is widely used across Europe.

A recent public consultation indicated more than half (51%) of accommodation providers and 91% of residents supported the introduction of a TVL.

Edinburgh Council leader Adam McVey told councillors on Thursday: "Unless we find a sustainable way of financing the things we use as a city and keep the tourism going, we will start to see a threat and detriment to that experience.

"We are already seeing pavements congested and we need to find better ways to manage it all.

"It will be set locally, collected locally and spent locally. We will collect it for the benefit of our city as a whole."

The Scottish Conservatives voted against introducing the levy, branding it "a garden tax in shorts and t-shirts".

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