Council launches legal action against 18 Yarmouth businesses over ‘tourism tax’

Great Yarmouth Magistrates' Court. Picture: Google

Great Yarmouth Magistrates' Court. Picture: Google - Credit: Google Maps

A Norfolk council has started legal action against 18 businesses which have not paid their so-called tourism tax.

Representatives for Great Yarmouth Borough Council appeared at the town's Magistrates' Court on Tuesday (June 4) seeking liability orders stating that 18 of the town's businesses have not paid their Business Improvement District (BID) Rate.

None of the businesses, which have not been named, appeared in court.

A spokesperson for the council said each of the levy-payers had been sent an invoice, reminder, final reminder and court summons.

BID was launched in the resort in 2014 and its future is up for a crucial vote later this year to see whether or not it will start a second term.

About 1,200 borough businesses must pay the levy, which is based on rateable value.

Initiatives supported by the money raised include the Maritime Festival, the Wheels Festival, Filby in Bloom, Martham Scarecrow Festival, summer fireworks, hanging baskets, and seafront lighting, as well as marketing and TV adverts.

In Gorleston it supported the Clifftop Festival and Christmas switch-on.

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But some local businesses have voiced concerns over its performance.