Flintshire second home tax premium could be reviewed to tackle housing shortage
Liam Randall, local democracy reporter
Council tax premiums for second home owners in Flintshire could be reviewed in bid to address a shortage of housing.
Flintshire Council introduced a premium of 50 per cent on second homes and long term empty properties back in 2017 to encourage owners to bring them back into use.
The scheme has earned the local authority almost £650,000 a year in extra income.
With levels kept the same since the levy was first brought in, senior councillors are now being asked to consider whether the premium should be reviewed.
Officials said second home ownership had become a “contentious” issue nationally, with calls for second home ownership to be made less attractive in areas where there is a lack of housing.
Billy Mullin, the council’s cabinet member for corporate management and assets, said changing tax levels was one of a number of measures which could be used.
He said: “Solving housing problems and meeting demand is a complex issue involving national and local governments.
“ A review of the current council tax premium would not be the ‘silver bullet’ to resolving local demand for affordable housing – but it could be one of a range of measures to incentivise owners to return currently empty properties to use.
“The premium scheme provides additional council tax income to meet the demand on services or to use any additional revenue generated to help meet local housing needs.”
There are currently 772 properties subject to the 50 per cent premium in Flintshire.
The figures include 605 long term empty properties and 167 second homes, with Welsh local authorities currently applying premiums ranging from 25 per cent to 100 per cent.
A review would consider whether the level in Flintshire should be changed or kept the same with plans for a public consultation to be held.
The proposals will be discussed at a cabinet meeting being held on Tuesday (September 21, 2021).