Are You Willing to Pay Taxes for a Short Stay in Bath?

People calculating taxesYour next Airbnb accommodation in Bath might soon require you to pay an extra fee for taxes, under a new proposal from the Bath and North East Somerset Council.

Despite the proposed taxes, a spa break in Bath can still be a good idea for a vacation. The city might be included in UNESCO’s Great Spas of Europe, which comprises 11 spa destinations.

New Taxation Policy

The city has floated a new tax scheme as a new way of raising funds. Officials said that there are no other means of doing so apart from relying on council rates and business funds. The council has sought a tourism levy that has been in practice in many European cities.

It follows a similar request from Edinburgh, Oxford, and Liverpool. Aside from a tourism tax and levies on short-term Airbnb stays, the council also seeks to charge fees for listed building applications. One of the reasons behind the proposal involves student accommodation properties, which have caused £5 million in revenue losses because they are exempt from taxes.

UNESCO Site

Bath might need the additional revenue from taxes to preserve its natural resources, which allowed it to be listed as a World Heritage site. If granted, the city would join Bruges in Belgium and Barcelona in Spain as the few cities with double-listings from UNESCO.

UNESCO says that Bath has been a popular healing place for more than 2,000 years. The city preserves its intricate architecture and natural spas, which are among a few of their kind. The majority of spas in Europe failed to survive after the mid-19th century.

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Whether or not Bath’s new tax becomes law, it won’t dampen tourism activity in the city, especially with the anticipated double-listing from UNESCO.