Labour council leader says no to Welsh tourism tax
Ted Peskett, local democracy reporter
A Labour council leader has said that she does not intend to introduce a tourism tax after the Welsh Government launched a consultation on the issue.
The leader of the Vale of Glamorgan Council told the Local Democracy Reporting Service that there are no plans to introduce a tourism tax in the county when asked about the Welsh Government’s proposal to allow local authorities to introduce a visitor levy.
The Welsh Government today launched a public consultation on the proposed levy, which would be a small charge paid by people staying overnight in accommodation in Wales.
When asked about the levy and whether or not it is something the Vale of Glamorgan Council would consider, council leader, Cllr Lis Burnett, said: “The Council has no plans to introduce a tourism levy in the Vale of Glamorgan.
“We understand that the proposal is to give discretion to councils as to whether they do and we are not minded to at the moment.”
The council is currently led by a coalition of Labour, Llantwit First and independent councillors.
It is hoped that the money raised through a tourism tax can be re-invested in the improvement of the area where it is levied.
This investment could be in keeping the beaches and pavements clean, or in the maintenance of local parks, toilets and footpaths.
The newly launched consultation seeks views on who should pay a levy, who would be charging and collecting the levy, how the levy could be best applied and how revenues from the tax could be allocated.
Minister for Finance and Local Government, Rebecca Evans, said she hopes the tax, if approved, can encourage a more “sustainable approach for tourism”.
The Welsh Government said that forming any proposals for a visitor levy into legislation, and then into delivery and implementation, could take a number of years and would be subject to Senedd approval.
The Vale of Glamorgan is a popular destination for tourists coming from across the border in England and other parts of Wales, with the county’s coastal walks and beaches attracting thousands of visitors every year.
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Does that mean that when this authority- Vale of Glamorgan – wishes to fund improvements in tourism amenities it will not go cap in hand to the Bay regime for a top up? After all a marginal rate of taxation could raise significant amounts in a county with so many popular destinations and would create useful sums for deployment on improvements when other budgets are tight or nonexistent.