Wales is notoriously popular amongst those looking for holiday homes within Britain. Picturesque, quaint and set in rolling country side, destinations like Tenby, Anglesey and Cardigan Bay are filled with second homes, however under new proposals unveiled by the Welsh government, council tax for these properties could be doubled.
It has been revealed that local authorities will have powers to charge a council tax premium of up to 100% on second homes, as part of an amendment to the Housing Bill. Whilst Plaid Cymru, the National party of Wales, has welcomed the move, the Conservatives have warned that those who invest their life savings in second homes could be penalised. It’s also not likely to be popular amongst the 23,000 people who have second homes here.
The concern is that whilst second homes can have benefits for the local economy and tourism, the fact they are only occupied for part of the year could have an adverse impact on providers of local services and the availability of affordable housing for local people. It’s this concept that has led Housing Minister Carl Sargeant to explain that councils with high concentrations of second homes might think it necessary for people who have more than one home to “make an extra contribution to the provision of local services and affordable housing through the local taxation system.”
The Welsh Local Government Association (WLGA) is in favour of the move, although the organisation pointed out that there was still a case for councils to have “complete flexibility” on fixing the premium. A spokesman said “these additional powers should be seen an acknowledgement of the impact that second homes have on the long-term sustainability of local communities.”
Here at Council Tax Advisors we specialise in issues like this, so we’ll be keeping an eye on the progress of the proposals. Council tax for one property can be complicated enough without considering holiday and second homes so we’re hoping that any forthcoming changes are kept as clear as possible.
Those with concerns over council tax, or are in council tax arrears can speak to a friendly and knowledgeable team member at Council Tax Advisors to help you resolve your issues.