Council tax expected to double for many second-home owners
Council tax is expected to double for many second-home owners under new laws that will reportedly impact nearly half of all relevant properties.
Local authorities will be given the power to increase the amount of council tax that can be charged on second homes, according to reports. Holiday hotspots such as Devon, Cornwall, the Lake District and Norfolk have already approved the tax hike plan.
And one-in-four councils in England are reportedly planning to double council tax on second-homes. This would raise an estimated £200 million in additional tax revenue.
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It’s believed that around 40 per cent of second-homes would see their council tax raised at the first opportunity. This would see more than 100,000 property owners hit with higher bills.
MPs in the West Country, where the number of second homes is having a severe impact on local communities – have asked for the power to quadruple council tax. However, second-home owners and leaders in the tourism industry have blasted the Government’s plan. They say they are being “scapegoated” to make up for the Government’s failure to build enough affordable homes.
But Labour apparently doesn’t think the plans go far enough. It has already announced that, if elected, it will allow local authorities to treble council tax bills on second homes and says it would introduce a licensing system for holiday lets.
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However, research commissioned by the Welsh government – which introduced similar laws four years ago – showed that there is “limited evidence of the effectiveness” of the council tax hikes.
And a former minister told The Telegraph: “Councils have got to be careful what they wish for, because if they turn off too many second-home owners, they might find that they lose spending power, especially in the summer period when they need to make money.
“They have to think how much they want to push second-home owners before it becomes counterproductive, they have to find a balance.
“Better broadband and more working from home also mean that people can actually spend longer periods of time on work-cations. They have to use these powers wisely because not all second-home owners are evil.”
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