Visitor Levy (Scotland) Bill: island communities impact assessment
An island communities impact assessment (ICIA) considering the potential impact of the introduction of the Visitor Levy (Scotland) Bill on island communities.
Step Six – Making adjustments to your work
Should delivery mechanisms/mitigations vary in different communities?
The power to create a VL will be discretionary to local authorities. A local authority, which chooses to enact a VL in their area, will be able to set the rate and extent of the levy, set any local exemptions and will have administrative independence of the levy, in line with its existing statutory financial and accounting practices.
To support local authorities in exercising their new powers, we are committed to developing national guidance jointly with Local Government and tourist industry stakeholders.
Do you need to consult with island communities in respect of mechanisms or mitigations?
The Bill will create a statutory requirement for a local authority to consult with local communities and businesses prior to the introduction of a LV. A local authority will also be required to give significant notice and publish its plan on how it planned to use any funds raised through the levy.
Additionally, in choosing to enact a VL scheme in their area, a local authority will be subject to existing statutory requirements to consult and have regard to communities when preparing a policy. In considering the use of these new powers, under the Islands (Scotland) Act 2018, a local authority will have to comply with its duty to have regard to island communities (section 7) and where relevant undertake an island communities impact assessment should a proposed levy be identified as having a significantly different effect on an island community compared with other communities (section 8).
Have island circumstances been factored into the evaluation process?
Yes – we have consulted and engaged with island authorities and communities to ensure island circumstances have been factored in.
Have any island-specific indicators/targets been identified that require monitoring?
No, this is a discretionary power for local authorities to use if the wish to do so. Any local authority considering the use of a VL will be required to comply with its duty under the Islands (Scotland) Act 2018 – where a local authorities identifies any island-specific indicators then they may wish to monitor these.
How will outcomes be measured on the islands?
The Bill does not place reporting requirements on local authorities relating to island-specific indicators, however a local authority will have to publicly report on the performance of the VL in relation to its objectives, alongside the amount of money raised and how the net proceeds of the VL have been used.
How has the policy, strategy or service affected island communities?
The Bill provides a discretionary power to local authorities and does not directly affect island communities. In choosing to implement a VL scheme in all or part of their area, a local authority will need to have regard as to how such a scheme affects island communities, in line with its duties under the 2018 Act.
How will lessons learned in this ICIA inform future policy making and service delivery?
Local authorities who wish to implement a VL scheme in their area will need to have regard to their island communities. In doing so, we encourage those authorities to use this ICIA to help support their work in island-proofing a VL scheme.
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