A new tax aimed at surf schools that use public beaches has been approved by Cornwall Council and could cost some of the largest providers of surf lessons up to £4000 a year. The scheme has been met with a wave of hostility from many schools, who say that the process has lacked consultation and the extra costs will severely impact their businesses.
The council have voted to bring in the surf tax, which will work on a sliding scale depending on the size of the school and hope to raise around £40 000 from 13 beaches. It is not only surf schools that will be affected, it will also impact on anyone who provides tuition for windsurfing, kayaking, SUP and kitesurfing. Beaches affected include Harlyn, Widemouth, Constantine and Polzeath and a larger school with 60 surfboards will be slapped with a bill of around £4300 per annum.
Over the years we have had many dealings with surf schools on either side of the country and one thing that runs true between them all, is that they are all run by passionate, hard working and caring individuals who strive to provide a safe and professional service. From what we can gather from this stealth tax, it is not going to provide better water safety or more beach facilities and if the council are not careful, they will drive these essential beachside businesses away.
What do you make of the new tax imposed by Cornwall Council, do you think they should charge surf schools a tax for using the beaches? Are you a surf school that will be hit with this charges?