Public consultation on the council tax premium on second homes and long-term empty properties

Date: 03/10/2022

Gwynedd Council is carrying out a public consultation on how to respond to legislative changes that allow the Council to further increase the Council Tax Premium on Second Homes and Long-Term Empty Properties.

A second home is defined as a dwelling which is not a person's sole or main home and is substantially furnished. This can include properties used for short term holiday lets which are subject to Council Tax and don’t qualify for the statutory exemptions. A long-term empty property is defined as a dwelling which is unoccupied and substantially unfurnished for a continuous period of at least one year.

In March 2022, the Welsh Government gave local authorities the power to increase this Council Tax Premium by up to 300%, from 1 April 2023 onwards. The owners of such properties in Gwynedd have been paying a premium of 100% since 1 April 2021, and 50% between 1 April 2018 and 31 March 2021.

Before the Full Council makes its decision on the Council Tax Premium for 2023/24, and since the change in legislation, the authority wants to hear the views of the public about the possibility of increasing the tax by a higher level than the current 100%.

The public consultation is now open and the public will have until 28 October to present their views and opinions. The results of the consultation will then be considered by the Governance and Audit Committee and the Council Cabinet before the Full Council makes a final decision on 1 December 2022 on the Council Tax Premium level for 2023/24.

Councillor Ioan Thomas, Gwynedd Council's Finance Cabinet Member, said:

"As a Council, we have been charging a Council Tax Premium on second homes and long-term empty properties since 2018. We are proud of the fact that the money collected is being used to provide affordable and suitable homes for local people.

"Following the Welsh Government’s decision, we now have the right to further increase the premium. Before the Full Council comes to a final decision on 1 December, we are carrying out this public consultation to gather the views of the public. This will ensure that every Councillor has all the relevant information, including feedback from the public on the possible impact any change may have on the county's communities."

“That’s why we’re urging anyone who has a view on this important subject to take this opportunity to have their say.”

Members of the public can take part in the consultation in a number of ways:                    

  • Visit the website: Remember that free access to the web is available at all Gwynedd Libraries.
  • Paper copies of the consultation questionnaire are available at your local library or Siop Gwynedd ‘one stop shops’ at the Gwynedd Council offices at Caernarfon, Dolgellau and Pwllheli.
  • By phoning 01286 682682 to request a paper copy of the consultation questionnaire through the post.