The Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR) has warned Bath and North East Somerset Council it should proceed with caution before seeking Government approval to implement a tourist tax.
The association has also urged the Government to resist granting the powers to impose the levy and has highlighted the importance of the need to consult affected businesses before progressing the matter further.
ALMR chief executive Kate Nicholls said: “The consequences of implementing a tourist tax in the city are far from clear. Even a modest increase in costs for customers could have unforeseen and potentially harmful consequences.
“The Lyons Inquiry warned against the introduction of a tourism tax for good reason, and advocated consultation with businesses before proceeding with any such measure. The Government should heed those recommendations, as the impacts would likely be far and wide, with local authorities across the country seeking to capitalise on a new source of revenue, and no clear measures in place to safeguard against a levy being imposed and raised with impunity.
“We urge the Council not to increase costs for hospitality businesses that already contribute enormously in the way of taxes. Hospitality businesses are already facing significant costs increases, particularly business rates bills, that are crippling many venues. Bath’s hospitality businesses will still be feeling the impact of the recent revaluation and another tax will just exacerbate cost pressures.”