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Crowdfunding second home owner wants to take council to court over 100% tax premium

16 Apr 2021 4 minutes Read
The coastal village of Aberdyfi, Gwynedd. Picture by Llywelyn2000 (CC BY-SA 3.0)

A second home owner has crowdfunded with the aim of taking a council to court over a 100% tax premium.

According to Anthony Chancellor, the “discriminatory” decision by Gwynedd Council to levy the tax is “based on anti-English sentiments” and “disproportionately affects those who aren’t Welsh”.

Chancellor, who used the crowd CrowdJustice platform, set a target of £6,000 in order to pay for advice from a senior barrister to look at the merits of judicially reviewing the council tax hike. He ended up raising £8,070.

He claims that all that he is asking for is “fairness” and to be treated “equally”.

According to the second home owner “little consideration” was given to older people, some of whom are pensioners, those who suffer from disabilities, and those on fixed incomes who “will genuinely struggle to pay”.

Second home owners used to face a council tax premium of 50%, which has now been doubled to 100%.

Councillors say they had to prioritise the 60% of locals priced out of the market over those seeking a second home in Gwynedd.

Council figures showing that 10.77% of Gwynedd’s housing stock is now designated as second homes, which is higher than any other county in Wales.

Members have been told that the hiking of the premium is expected to generate around £3m extra a year, which will be ploughed back into a £77m housing action plan designed to build more properties and tackle an “ongoing emergency”.

The council says that 1,500 affordable properties will be built in Gwynedd as a result.

The council conducted a public consultation on the issue, which found that  55.1% of respondents believed second homes brought “positive benefits.”

However, with 58.6% being holiday home owners themselves, the vast majority of locals were found to be more concerned about their impact.

‘Increase’ 

Anthony Chancellor said: “On 4th March 2021 Gwynedd Council voted to increase the premium on the council tax of second home owners to 100%. For many of us that means we have to pay around £3,600 a year in council tax for a 2 bed property.

“The decision taken was unfair, irrational, unreasonable and discriminatory. We believe the decision was based on anti-English sentiments.

“Little consideration was given to the impact on older people,  those who suffer from disabilities or those who are on fixed incomes.

“Some of our group are pensioners and will genuinely struggle to pay. Furthermore, the decision disproportionately affects those who aren’t Welsh.

“We are trying to raise £6,000 (£5,000 + VAT) to pay for an advice from a senior Barrister (a QC) on the merits of judicially reviewing Gwynedd.

“This is the first step in our fight but will help us decide if we have a good case and whether we should take Gwynedd to court to overturn the decision. Please help us to raise this figure by contributing and sharing this page.

“We believe that if Gwynedd is not challenged it will impose further unfair and discriminatory taxes not only on us but other groups, such as those who own furnished holiday lets.

“The decision of Gwynedd is being studied by other councils across England and Wales with a view to implementing similar taxation in those areas. This is our opportunity to challenge this unfair tax whilst we still have the opportunity.

“All we are asking for is fairness and to be treated equally. Please help us to achieve our aim. Many thanks for your time.”

Councillor Craig ab Iago, Gwynedd Council Cabinet Member for Housing said: “My top priority is to ensure that we as a Council do everything we can to offer homes to the people of Gwynedd within our communities.

“We know that our young people face a greater challenge than ever to find a suitable home locally, and this is an unfair and unjust situation.

“Put simply, it is a crisis and I’m determined to see us delivering a real change. I am therefore extremely proud of this Plan, which not only shows Gwynedd Council’s vision for the future of housing in the county, but more importantly, that we have definite plans to implement that vision.

“With the help of the Council Tax Premium income that is levied on second home owners, we will start building our own houses and selling them on a shared ownership model to local residents.

“We will offer financial assistance to local first-time buyers and aim to buy properties from the housing market to let to Gwynedd residents in accordance with the new local allocation policy we have introduced.”

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Richard
Richard
3 months ago

Whinging pommie colonist

Matt
Matt
3 months ago

If people are going to “genuinely struggle to pay” this then perhaps they could maybe just have the one house.

m roberts
m roberts
3 months ago

Council costs are for 12 months of the year, 100% of the time! e.g. council staff, vehicles and services are provided all the time!

Locals paying 100% and others only 50% is unequal! LOCALS ARE NOT ALLOWED TO PAY LESS WHEN THEY ARE AWAY FROM THE PROPERTIES!—- ALL PAYING 100% IS EQUAL!!!!!

Steve
Steve
3 months ago
Reply to  m roberts

No they paid 50% more not less
Now it is 100% it is now double what you would pay

m roberts
m roberts
3 months ago
Reply to  Steve

they currently only pay 50% instead of 100% !! they should pay the 100% !!!!!!

m roberts
m roberts
3 months ago
Reply to  m roberts

should be 100% per property like cars 2 cars 2 road tax

Michael Day
Michael Day
3 months ago
Reply to  m roberts

They’re paying 150% and using far less of services.
For my part I’m on a park that pays business rates for all my services yet I get levied community charge.
Two bites of cherry?

Robert Downing
Robert Downing
3 months ago
Reply to  Michael Day

No one is making you stay there.
When i couldn’t afford to stay in a nice flat in London I had to move.

m roberts
m roberts
3 months ago
Reply to  Michael Day

all properties should be charged 100% each – if you 2 properties – you should pay 100% per property– all services have to be available 100% of the time-
e.g. refuse collection still needs to be collected 100% and costs 100% of the time – even if only 50% used

m roberts
m roberts
3 months ago
Reply to  m roberts

if you own 2 cars you would not be able to get 50% off the second car road tax !! you have to pay 100% tax per car 100% of the time properties should be the same !

Dave d
Dave d
2 months ago
Reply to  m roberts

You seem to be missing the point it like having 2cars and paying £200 for the first car and £400 for the second they are not saying that they want to pay less just the same as normal rate payers so £200 for the first and £200 for the second

Bruce
Bruce
3 months ago

What an utterly selfish individual, if he can afford a second home then he doesn’t need to crowdfund for his legal fees but instead he gets other gullible people to pay his fees for him. His comments are typical of the sort of selfish greedy people who buy second homes, they won’t be happy until they drive out the local population and succeed in their programme of cultural genocide. After all he wouldn’t want the smelly locals blighting his property would he? He’s whingeing and wining that Gwynedd’s policy is anti-English but he’ll probably find that Cornwall and councils in… Read more »

Ieuan Evans
Ieuan Evans
3 months ago

Why do these people always think that everything is anti English? It applies to all second home owners whether you are from Manchester, Chester, Swansea, Cardiff….
They vision is so self-centered and narrow that they cannot see the bigger picture.
A similar campaign is happening on the Friends of Botthygest site.

Robert Downing
Robert Downing
3 months ago
Reply to  Ieuan Evans

Because they are superior and must be obeyed.

E Gardiner
E Gardiner
3 months ago

The gentleman crowdfunding his case has clearly not thought through the fact that many Welsh/ Wales based owners also have second homes in Wales. Does he think that because he’s English he should get preferential treatment?
How much does he contribute to the local economy – other than paying Council Tax?
I speak as a Welsh woman, living in Wales, married to an Englishman, and who will never be able to afford a second home.

Michael Day
Michael Day
3 months ago

Its not second home owners pushing prices up but poor housing policy. The revenue raised from increased taxation is a drop in the ocean of whats required. Its an old tactic by govt and councils called deflection. Create envy, divide n conquer. Why should you be punished for aspiration and success. Dont forget its Welsh property sold by Welsh people in the main.

Dewi Roberts
Dewi Roberts
3 months ago

Council tax is a payment for services . Paying extra tax but you don’t get any extra services but in most cases less. It’s a theft tax. It’s supposed to pay for affordable housing but these are built by companies like Annwyl etc who are making money. If the council wants affordable housing they should charge everyone in the county. If you drive around in a big new car then should you pay more road tax just because you can afford it. You will never stop houses being sold to the highest bidder. They even make television programmes about people… Read more »

David Morgan
3 months ago
Reply to  Dewi Roberts

Many second home owners are from all areas of the country. People work hard and aspire to achieve different goals. Holidays, cars, and second homes, etc,etc. more often that not people choose an area they have grown to love or have roots there. Second home owners in Wales have been paying 150% council tax for a long time. They don’t like it but it was accepted. I believe by raising it to 200% has caused the upset and it’s fuelled a dormant fire. Wales needs better paid jobs and better infrastructure, this will only be brought about by Government investment… Read more »

m roberts
m roberts
3 months ago
Reply to  David Morgan

they pay 100% on one property and get 50% discount off second property!!!- they should pay 100 % per property !!

D jones
D jones
3 months ago
Reply to  m roberts

M Robert’s they pay 100 % on the first house And 200% on their second home

David Morgan
3 months ago
Reply to  D jones

Correct. They do.

m roberts
m roberts
3 months ago
Reply to  D jones

According to Gov.uk – dscount of 50% on council tax on second homes – so how it that paying 200% on second property?

m roberts
m roberts
3 months ago
Reply to  m roberts

https:/www.gov.uk YOU PAY LESS-DISCOUNT OF 50% OFF COUNCIL TAX ON SECOND HOMES! ?

D jones
D jones
3 months ago
Reply to  m roberts

M Robert’s read it again

m roberts
m roberts
3 months ago
Reply to  D jones

can be charged double if empty for 2years or more? but all examples here was used second homes and not empty for 2 years or more so got the discounts

m roberts
m roberts
3 months ago
Reply to  m roberts

leaving second homes empty for years shoud be stopped – its like buying all the food in the local shop and leaving it to rot because you dont need it-while others starve and have their futures stolen- morally illegal

Philip
Philip
3 months ago

It would be interesting to learn how much of the current ‘50% premium’ has been ploughed back into providing affordable homes locally by Gwynedd Council. They surely need to show their policy is already working before doubling the premium and making more dubious claims.

D Evans
D Evans
3 months ago

The issue is the same in Cornwall and Lake District – moneyed city people squeezing out locals who are on a more rural type wage.The English therefore too must be anti-English in disliking ghost towns in winter with no community or sustainability for local businesses. Homes before ‘property’.

David Morgan
3 months ago
Reply to  D Evans

Sorry I disagree. There are many Welsh homeowners that have been left a property by parents or relatives dying. They rent the properties for income or to keep hold of them. It is not all “moneyed city people” at all,
It is a Uk problem in these type of areas and sensible options can be taken.
Build affordable homes that can only be sold to locally born people. Who then can o sell them on to non local people.
I know many people with a second home and they use them all year round.

D Evans
D Evans
3 months ago
Reply to  David Morgan

If properties are rented out on a commercial basis then there is an income to deal with bills – so save me the bleeding heart please over any large inheritance. I rent out in cities myself and have all sorts of costs form Landlord registration, to EICR to HMO licences and legionella reports – it just gets added to the tenants bills and funds councils’ pension funds… Your solution to address the ‘gazumping’ & inequality and community destroying winter ghost town issue is to build more affordable homes (somewhere) with deeds that prevent sale to ‘outsiders’? Do you really think… Read more »

David Fishfall
David Fishfall
3 months ago

What about the locals that made a lot of money and then buggered off. Looks like the remaining 42% are little upset they didn’t sell. Also, those paying double council tax but not using the services are subsidising people who live there all the time and keeping the council tax unfairly low.

Mike
Mike
3 months ago

The real question is whether the premium will actually raise any additional revenue ? When taxes are raised to unreasonable levels people generally find ways to avoid paying them. Try Googling the “Laffer Curve”.

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