John McLellan: Tourist tax might not actually mean more money for city

A tourist tax might raise millions but the Scottish Government could cut Edinburgh's funds by the same amount (Picture: Lisa Ferguson)
A tourist tax might raise millions but the Scottish Government could cut Edinburgh's funds by the same amount (Picture: Lisa Ferguson)
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I still don’t quite get the term “Transient Visitor Levy” because by definition aren’t all visitors transient? No matter, but what does is whether Edinburgh would benefit.

Tourist tax supporter John Donnelly, Marketing Edinburgh’s chief executive, argues a solution is needed which “balances Edinburgh’s growing tourism demand against shrinking public budgets”.

READ MORE: Small businesses oppose tourist tax

The problem is there is no guarantee budgets would not continue to shrink because the Scottish Government currently calculates council block grants by its own formula and deducts money raised through local business rates.

So the likelihood is the £11 million expected from the new charge will just be lopped off Edinburgh’s grant.

READ MORE: Donald Anderson: How a tourist tax would help Edinburgh stay great