Gwynedd votes to increase council tax on second homes to 150% to pay for tackling homeless crisis
Gwynedd Council has voted in favour of increasing the council tax for second homes to 150% in order to find the funds to tackle the homeless crisis in the county.
The increase will take place in April of next year, and comes after a public consultation.
37 members voted in favour and 21 were against in a full meeting of the Council.
The Cabinet decided that the premium on long-term empty houses should be kept at the current rate of 100%.
Welsh councils will have the right to increase the maximum council tax premium on houses of this type to up to 300% from April 2023 onwards, after changes introduced by the Welsh Government.
The Council’s Finance Cabinet Member, Councillor Ioan Thomas, recommended that any additional money that comes into the Council’s coffers as a result of the change be earmarked for tackling the homelessness crisis.
“We believe that the basis of a sound economy is an economy where the people of Gwynedd have homes and contribute,” he said.
“We can’t ignore a situation where it is estimated that 1,400 individuals will have presented themselves as homeless by the end of this year, double the number presenting before Covid-19.
“As a council, we will be accommodating over 600 people in temporary accommodation this year, where the figure was about 200 before Covid.”
According to the Council, there has been a 47% increase in the number of homeless people in Gwynedd over the last two years.
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