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Second home owner sells up due to ‘extortionate’ and ‘wrong’ council tax premium

10 Jul 2023 3 minute read
Colourful houses in Tenby

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.

Extortionate fees

“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.”

Consultation

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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Stephen George
Stephen George
9 months ago

Good! The policy’s working.

Linda Jones
Linda Jones
9 months ago

Good riddance I say. People in Wales need first homes.

Dark Mrakeford
Dark Mrakeford
9 months ago

Does this person not understand that even though it’s a retirement apartment, that still means someone over 55 has to live somewhere else and is thus locking up property elsewhere down the chain?
If the rural countryside is as empty and lonely as they make it out to be, why not move?
A privileged minority own multiple properties, I can’t sympathise with the woe-is-me attitude.

Karl
Karl
9 months ago

He didn’t move their 9 yrs ago, thats the problem. Often empty, second homes increase prices, and reduce the need to invest in anything that locals might enjoy year round. This policy seems to be working then

CapM
CapM
9 months ago

There are a few sea view flats for sale in Dinbych y Pysgod at the moment, £250,000 for a one bedroom flat being typical.

That equals the cost of a sea view room for at least 2000 nights (at current summer rate) in a four star Tenby Hotel. And the former owner of a second home would presumably still have a home in the “beautiful countryside”.

I can’t really see much sympathy for this sort of predicament outside the sheets of the Daily Mail/Express/Telegraph.

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
9 months ago

Great place for a holiday Tenby, in the 60’s there were changing huts/tents on the beach and after the cops had been round at 2am you could have a decent kip…

Plenty of sarnies to cadge from the cafes at the end of the day…didn’t need a holiday home in them days.

Same for St Ives in Cornwall, a plate layers hut a mile down the railway track made a great crash pad complete with pot bellied stove…

Frank
Frank
9 months ago
Reply to  Mab Meirion

The good old days.

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
9 months ago
Reply to  Frank

You bet, Doctor Williams Girls School 6th form was the place to go fishing!

One was from Tenby…

Last edited 9 months ago by Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
9 months ago
Reply to  Frank

My reply might reappear…

Rhufawn Jones
Rhufawn Jones
9 months ago

Let me get out my miniature violin …

Fi yn unig
Fi yn unig
9 months ago

Second home owners 2
Private renters and homeless 0.
BOOOO!

First and only home owners 1
Former private renters & homeless 1
RESULT!

Frank
Frank
9 months ago

See you then.

SundanceKid
SundanceKid
9 months ago

What is the point of complaining to the newspaper about this? Does he not realise that this was the very objective of the Council tax premium?

As for being penalised for taking homes from youngsters, I’m sorry but that is exactly what he has been doing. Why does he think the number of second homes in the region is equal to the number of people on the housing register?

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