Possible consultation on increasing Council Tax on second homes in Gwynedd by up to 300%
At its meeting on 27 September, Gwynedd Council’s Cabinet will consider a recommendation to press ahead with a public consultation on a proposal to increase the Council Tax Premium for Second Homes and Long-Term Vacant Properties by up to 300% for the 2023/24 financial year.
Should the Cabinet vote to proceed, the Council will hold a public consultation for 28 days during September and October 2022, inviting comments from the public.
Following the consultation, a report on the results will be presented back to the Cabinet at its meeting on 22 November. This will allow sufficient time to submit a recommendation on the level of the Council Tax Premium for 2023/24 to the Full Council on December 2022.
Councillor Ioan Thomas, Gwynedd Council’s Finance Cabinet Member, said: “Due to a change in the law, Gwynedd Council can charge a premium of up to 300% on second homes from 1 April 2023 onwards, which is significantly more than the 100% that is currently being levied on second homes.
“Any money that comes into the Council’s coffers through the premium is invested in schemes to ensure that the people of Gwynedd have access to a suitable, affordable homes of quality which improves their quality of life. The premium is one of the tools the Council has in order to tackle the shortage of affordable housing and the high number of second homes within the county.”
Councillor Thomas emphasized that no decision about the level of Council Tax will be made by the Cabinet on 27 September. “This is one step in the process of setting the Council Tax,” he explained. “The full Council has to make an annual decision on the rate of the Premium. As we now have the right to further increase the Premium on second homes it is appropriate and sensible for us as Cabinet to ensure there is an opportunity to scrutinise the matter and then we councillors will have all the information to make the decision in Full Council in December.
“If the rest of the Cabinet agrees, and the consultation goes ahead, I encourage everyone with an interest in the matter to take advantage of the opportunity and to share their views.”
Any such consultation, if given the green light by Cabinet, will allow the Council to gather evidence to ensure that the Council’s policy regarding the Council Tax Premium has been properly assessed against the principles of equality and sustainable development.
The Cabinet meeting will be held on Tuesday, 27 September. The agenda of the meeting is available on the Council's website Agenda for The Cabinet on Tuesday, 27th September, 2022, 1.00 pm (llyw.cymru) The public can watch the meeting live on the website: Cartref - Gweddarllediadau Cyngor Gwynedd (public-i.tv).
Local authorities were empowered to increase the maximum Premium charged to 300% from 1 April 2023 through the The Council Tax (Long-term Empty Dwellings and Dwellings Occupied Periodically) (Wales) Regulations 2022 which came into force in March 2022.
This change is part of a wider package of changes announced by the Welsh Government as part of “a wider commitment to address the issue of second homes and unaffordable housing facing many communities in Wales, as set out in the Co-operation Agreement between the Welsh Government and Plaid Cymru”.
According to Welsh Government, “The commitment is to take immediate and radical action using the planning, property and taxation systems.”.
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