'Tourist tax' backed by council in... Watch

L i b
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#21
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(Original post by DJKL)
AirBnB is a looming Edinburgh problem, flats and properties are switching to this as their business model impacting the supply of more traditional rental properties in a city that already has a reasonably large student population and rents which keep increasing. Whilst the Housing Bill in 2016 allows for rent control areas none have yet been implemented

Personally I would go after them by insisting they pay rates rather than council tax (which does actually apply but a lot get through the net), insisting on far stricter adherence to building control and fire safety standards and like HMOs I would require permission to operate a flat as an, in effect, mini hotel. I would also remove them from the scope for small business rates relief.I have little issue with someone renting a spare room in their own house but this is now a wholesale business model with operators buying and operating multiple flats in the city centre which is great for the tourist industry but not so great for the locals.

The overnight charge hits hotels and guest houses somewhat unfairly, they are already paying rates, it is the wrong tool to address what is becoming a significant issue .
I see you've used "looming" there. Thin end of the wedge, I'd imagine you're trying to suggest. Let the barber cut your hair and next thing he'll be cutting your head off.

There's only 9,000 properties that are AirBnB in Edinburgh. Over half of them are booked for under 30 days. Most of these are homes, let out during seasonal peaks.

Edinburgh has a particular problem with seasonal accommodation around the Festivals and New Year. There are several reasons for this: building hotels and apartments in the city is extremely difficult and even if you did meet capacity, many rooms would go empty the rest of the year. Just like 1950s B&Bs in Blackpool, it's advantageous to have people's homes turned over when there are seasonal visitors.

If you want to look at the reason rents are high in Edinburgh, firstly look at its popularity. It is a victim of its own success - and that is a good thing. Secondly, consider just how difficult generations of councils under different political stripes have made development in the city.

AirBnB are providing a good, low-cost model of accommodation. That is a positive thing, both for tourists and for Edinburgh. Let's not forget, of course, that many locals make use of these services too, directly or indirectly. Instead, it seems to be the motivation of some who see a good industry working without heavy regulation to stamp it out.
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username1738683
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#22
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Pro-union Holyrood parties said the size of the deficit – which is four times higher as a proportion of GDP than the UK’s – show that an independent Scotland would have to resort to “unprecedented levels of austerity”.

The figures, which are published by the Scottish Government and based on Treasury estimates, fuel the constitutional debate north of the border.

The £13.4bn Scottish deficit represents 7.9% of Scottish GDP.

That is down from 8.9% the previous year, but far higher than the UK as a whole (1.9% of GDP).

Public expenditure in Scotland is £13,530 per person, compared with the British rate of £11,954.

https://www.thecourier.co.uk/fp/news...gher-than-uks/
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username1738683
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(Original post by ThomH97)
£2 a night extra as a tourist is nothing, I can't see that deterring many people. And those it does deter will be the people not wanting to spend much in the city anyway.
It's a simple money-grabbing exercise, it isn't meant to do anything else. It goes for many other taxes, nobody is deterred from going out for a drive because of the tax it will incur. Or from owning a car in the first place, despite the considerable tax implications. In fact, the tax will be set at the point where it doesn't deter anybody from anything.
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DSilva
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(Original post by zhog)
It's a simple money-grabbing exercise, it isn't meant to do anything else. It goes for many other taxes, nobody is deterred from going out for a drive because of the tax it will incur. Or from owning a car in the first place, despite the considerable tax implications.
Which shows people are happy enough to pay the taxes, knowing it will be spent on public services.

An exercise that will allow the Council to fund all sorts of public services which local people use and rely on. Tourists can make the decision themselves whether the tax is enough to put them off going.

It's a brilliant idea.
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username1738683
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(Original post by DSilva)
Which shows people are happy enough to pay the taxes, knowing it will be spent on public services.

An exercise that will allow the Council to fund all sorts of public services which local people use and rely on. Tourists can make the decision themselves whether the tax is enough to put them off going.

It's a brilliant idea.
Yeah, that's how we've ended up taxed for virtually everything that can be got at by the State. It will never be enough and the day socialists run out of ideas that's when it all comes into perspective. There's no end to it, that's my point.
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DSilva
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(Original post by zhog)
Yeah, that's how we've ended up taxed for virtually everything that can be got at by the State. It will never be enough and the day socialists run out of ideas that's when it all comes into perspective. There's no end to it, that's my point.
That's true of all politicians and parties, whether right or left. How do you think Trump is planning on funding his wall or increasing military spending? Thatcher massively increased Vat.

Of course there will never be an end to tax. How else do you suppose public services are funded? And that's a genuine question.

£2 a night for tourists is so minimal. If they don't want to pay the tax, they can choose not to holiday there. How is it any different to a business raising it's prices?
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DJKL
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(Original post by L i b)
I see you've used "looming" there. Thin end of the wedge, I'd imagine you're trying to suggest. Let the barber cut your hair and next thing he'll be cutting your head off.

There's only 9,000 properties that are AirBnB in Edinburgh. Over half of them are booked for under 30 days. Most of these are homes, let out during seasonal peaks.

Edinburgh has a particular problem with seasonal accommodation around the Festivals and New Year. There are several reasons for this: building hotels and apartments in the city is extremely difficult and even if you did meet capacity, many rooms would go empty the rest of the year. Just like 1950s B&Bs in Blackpool, it's advantageous to have people's homes turned over when there are seasonal visitors.

If you want to look at the reason rents are high in Edinburgh, firstly look at its popularity. It is a victim of its own success - and that is a good thing. Secondly, consider just how difficult generations of councils under different political stripes have made development in the city.

AirBnB are providing a good, low-cost model of accommodation. That is a positive thing, both for tourists and for Edinburgh. Let's not forget, of course, that many locals make use of these services too, directly or indirectly. Instead, it seems to be the motivation of some who see a good industry working without heavy regulation to stamp it out.
It is currently an unfair market vis a vis traditional hotels and B & B, it is further a somewhat unregulated market re fire safety and building control. If you want to operate an HMO there are, for good reason, fire safety requirements, a large number of AirBNB operations have limited/no such protections, whilst purpose built conversions like 28 North Bridge (offices to accomodation) etc have such safety requirements inherent in the building warrants/planning process for such conversion large numbers of others do not.

I have no real issue with occassional use letting for single family occupancy, the standards applied for any flat let outwith the HMO standard ought to be fine, but where the letting crosses more to a quasi hotel provision one has to ask what is going to happen the first time there is say a fire with loss of life.

From a sustainable living point of view the spread will cause issues, I expect to see some major expansion in the market in the city centre as retail continues to suffer (rumour has it that Frasers at the West End may well become serviced short stay apartments) and this trend will likely continue- great, lots more tourists, but eventually we will have a city centre dominated by cafes, bars etc surrounded by short let apartments.

It also seems that large numbers of flats on the Royal Mile/Canongate are moving to permanent tourist accomodation, if the planning process is to mean anything there does require further regulation of the sector, you now have both flats permanently going to tourist use plus all the student accomodation becoming available outwith term time for similar, there is an issue and it is growing.

I have nothing against development, I have been involved in the construction/planning for over 300 flats in Edinburgh over the years, but when this model keeps growing, as it has, there is an issue.

As I mentioned I think the £2 tax is the wrong approach, but what I would like to see is units that have been swapped from BTL or owner occupation to permanent tourist use having the planning process/building control processfar more involved with that change, and such change becomes beter regulated before someone gets killed.
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Quady
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(Original post by zhog)
mahttps://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-47157011

My estimate is that the Scots will be pouring over the border within a decade and begging Westminster to rescue them from the socialists, they will have to become even more creative at thinking up ways to make people part company with their money. The socialist groovy-train is a bottomless pit everywhere in the world.
Surely we could just vote for the popular uprising?

Confused why you would think this would be unpopular with Edinburgh /Scottish folk though. Overpopulation of Edinburgh by tourists ruins the place.

I'm looking forward to the revamped Intercity 125 groovy-trains tbh.
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DJKL
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(Original post by Quady)
Surely we could just vote for the popular uprising?

Confused why you would think this would be unpopular with Edinburgh /Scottish folk though. Overpopulation of Edinburgh by tourists ruins the place.

I'm looking forward to the revamped Intercity 125 groovy-trains tbh.
Not sure I would go as far as ruin but certainly changes it. For example we now have New Year celebrations on Princes Street by ticket entry, the days of going into town, having a few drinks, wandering up to the Tron for the bells and a few more drinks then heading into Marchmont/similar to a party seem long gone, one either embraces the city centre manufactured New Year or heads to say The Meadows for the unstructured, free flowing, New Year- that is certainly one facet of "Tourist" Edinburgh which is very different to when I was young.
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Quady
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(Original post by DJKL)
Not sure I would go as far as ruin but certainly changes it. For example we now have New Year celebrations on Princes Street by ticket entry, the days of going into town, having a few drinks, wandering up to the Tron for the bells and a few more drinks then heading into Marchmont/similar to a party seem long gone, one either embraces the city centre manufactured New Year or heads to say The Meadows for the unstructured, free flowing, New Year- that is certainly one facet of "Tourist" Edinburgh which is very different to when I was young.
It's more 'August' I was thinking of. For a month a year the city is locked out by tourists.
At least the winter celebrations still have some charm.
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DJKL
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(Original post by Quady)
It's more 'August' I was thinking of. For a month a year the city is locked out by tourists.
At least the winter celebrations still have some charm.
The things that really annoys me re August is the fact that the Edinburgh schools go back during August, you would think someone might consider that exposure to the Festival and the Fringe might be a good think for pupils in our schools, but instead by 14th August (state schools) they all have to return to their classrooms.
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