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Wales second homes tax has already raised millions for local services, says campaign group

26 Sep 2022 2 minute read
Abersoch, where there are a high number of second homes.

A tax on second homes in Wales has already raised millions for local councils, campaign group Cymdeithas yr Iaith has said, on the eve of Gwynedd discussing a proposal to raise it to 300%.

Gwynedd Council’s cabinet  is set to consider a recommendation to press ahead with a public consultation for a 300% council tax rate on second homes at its September 27 meeting.

“We expect the consultation to be approved – and expect other county councils across Wales to consult on the housing premium,” Jeff Smith, chair of Cymdeithas yr Iaith’s sustainable communities group said. 

“There was a call at our rally in Llangefni over a week ago on councils across Wales to use every measure within their power, in full, to address the problems of second houses.

“Those who benefit from second homes at the expense of our communities will oppose any further tax but I hope we can trust our councils to secure our communities.”

2017-19 income

Cymdeithas yr Iaith made a request under the Freedom Of Information Act (FOI) at the end of the 2019/20 financial year for information about the income councils made through raising a council tax premium on empty properties and/or second houses between 2017 and 2019.

Pembrokeshire Council raised £5.84 million, Anglesey and Gwynedd and Powys raised over £4m each, says Cymdeithas yr Iaith.

Jeff Smith added: “Raising a premium on second homes by itself will not solve housing problems, but it is clearly an important contribution – not only by reducing the number of second homes but by creating additional income that can be used for local services.

“To deal with the housing problem facing communities across Wales, a Property Act is needed, and we will continue to press the Government to introduce a complete Property Act during the term of the current Parliament.”

Local Authorities will be able to raise up to 300% council tax on second houses and empty properties from April 2023 but will have to consult publicly and get the approval of the full council by January 2023 in order to do so.

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