Second home owner sells up due to ‘extortionate’ and ‘wrong’ council tax premium
Bruce Sinclair, local democracy reporter
The former owner of a second home in Tenby has described the council tax premium in Pembrokeshire as “extortionate” and “wrong”.
The local authority is currently operating a 100 per cent council tax premium for second homes, having previously introduced a 50 per cent premium in 2017.
The former owner, who wished to remain anonymous, moved to Tenby some nine years ago, before the premium was introduced.
“I have sold my second home in Tenby as I believe having to pay extortionate fees into a fund that gets allocated to various causes throughout the county to be wrong,” she said.
“I live in the beautiful countryside but after working for 40 years without a career break I fulfilled my lifetime ambition of buying a second home with a sea view.
“I made friends in the area, whereas the countryside does not provide company nearby.
“Following the increase in council tax, four other apartments within the complex have been sold, as the homeowners felt the additional charge was unfair.
“We were not preventing youngsters from getting onto the property ladder as the apartments have a retirement status limiting residents to being over the age of 55.
“Why penalise individuals who have spent their lives working and after paying income tax to be robbed of the savings they have managed to accumulate, by an unnecessary council tax rate being claimed.
“These apartments were purchased when the standard rate of council tax applied to all homes, so upset a number of retired people.”
Pembrokeshire council is seeking the public’s views on tax rule changes which could see as much as a treble rate of council tax for second homes in future, following new local tax rules introduced by Welsh Government earlier this year.
The Pembrokeshire County Council consultation is open until August 6 and may be completed on Pembrokeshire County Council’s website.
Earlier this month, changes were made to the Enhancing Pembrokeshire Fund established to use money from the premium, to provide grants to enhance the sustainability of local communities.
Grants distribution has historically seen 75 per cent targeted at local wards proportionate to the number of second homes, with the remaining 25 per cent at multiple ward strategic projects.
At the July meeting of Cabinet members agreed to instead adopt a county-wide approach of larger and smaller schemes, of up to £15,000.Form
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