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Council consultation on second homes tax increase ends on Friday

26 Oct 2022 3 minute read
A demonstration against second homes Photo – Wynne Evans.

Dale Spridgeon, Local Democracy Reporter

There are only days left for the public to have their say over options to increase council tax premiums on second and long-term empty homes in Gwynedd.

Cyngor Gwynedd’s public consultation over the potential tax rises closes on Friday, October 28.

Since April, owners of second homes and long-term empty properties have paid a premium of 100%, and 50% between April 1, 2018 and March 31, 2021.

But following changes in legislation in March, 2022 the Welsh Government handed power over to local authorities to increase the Council Tax Premium up to 300%, from April 1, 2023.

A second home is usually defined as a dwelling which is not a person’s sole or main home and is substantially furnished.

It can include properties used for short term holiday lets which are subject to Council Tax and don’t qualify for the statutory exemptions.

A long-term empty property is defined as a dwelling which is unoccupied and substantially unfurnished for a continuous period of at least one year.

Councillor Ioan Thomas, Gwynedd Council’s Finance Cabinet Member, said: “I would like to thank everyone who have taken a few minutes to make their views known on this important issue.

“If you have not already taken part, you have until  October 28 to fill in the questionnaire and I would encourage you to do so.

“Cyngor Gwynedd has been charging a Council Tax Premium on second homes and long-term empty properties since 2018, and are investing the money raised in schemes to provide affordable and suitable homes for local people.”

The council now has the right to further increase the premium to up to 300% after national legislation changes.

Cllr Thomas added “We are eager to hear the views of the public to ensure that every councillor has all the relevant information – including feedback from the public on the possible impact any change may have on the county’s communities – before they vote on the matter in the full meeting of the council on December 1.

“So, if you have not already filled in the questionnaire, and you have a view on the matter, then please grab this opportunity before the consultation closes.”

Consultation results

On November 17 the council’s Governance and Audit Committee will consider the consultation results.

On November 22 Cyngor Gwynedd Cabinet will considers the consultation results and the committee’s findings.

The full council will make its final decision on the level of the Premium as they set the Council Tax for 2023/24, in accordance with the statutory requirement on December 1.

The consultation can be done online or on paper by visit the council’s website:

Free access to the internet is also available on public computers at all Gwynedd libraries.

Paper copies are available at libraries or at Siop Gwynedd in the council’s offices at Caernarfon, Dolgellau and Pwllheli; or phone 01286 682682.

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