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Brighton & Hove Council must come clean on tourism tax
When is a survey not a survey?
The answer seems to be when it is an online consultation carried out by Brighton and Hove City Council.
In an admirable display of transparent and inclusive policy-making the council has posted a questionnaire online seeking views from residents on the council tax.
You can see it here.
But in a less than admirable display of prejudging the outcome, the council has admitted it has no intention of implementing one of the proposals, no matter how many residents vote for it.
Question four in the survey sets out a number of ways of keeping the council tax to a minimum. Among the suggestion is the imposition of a tourism tax.
Those of you with long memories will know we have been here before.
In 2011, the new Green administration floated the possibility of the creation of a tourist tax if there was support for it. They dropped it like a hot potato when the realised that it would decimate tourism in the city. Now the idea has been raised again.
But council chiefs say it has no chance of being introduced, even if a majority of council taxpayers clamour for it.
So why put it forward for consideration?
The council must come clean – will it tax tourism or not? At the moment the policy changes direction more often than a seagull in a January squall.