Council tax premium on second homes and long-term empty properties

Date 12/10/2016

Gwynedd Council has launched a public consultation on whether the authority should introduce a higher rate of Council Tax on second homes and empty properties in the county.

The Welsh Government has given councils the power to raise an additional charge of up to 100% over and above the normal council tax rate on such properties. So far, Welsh councils including Pembrokeshire, Ceredigion, Ynys Môn and Conwy have opted to introduce higher premiums for such properties.

It is expected that Gwynedd Council will decide on its policy in the coming months, but before the matter is considered by the full Council, members of the public now have an opportunity to present their views by filling in a short questionnaire.

Dafydd Edwards, Gwynedd Council Head of Finance said:

“Gwynedd has the highest number of second homes in Wales and England. In total, there are almost 5,000 second homes in the county – that is homes that are not a person’s sole or main home – and more than 1,000 long-term empty properties.

“If Gwynedd Council decided to introduce a council tax premium on such properties, it is estimated that the change would generate a significant sum of money. This sum could then for example be used to help meet local housing needs and protect local services at a time when budgets are being dramatically reduced.

“Before considering this matter, the Council is eager for members of the public to share their views on the various options by completing the questionnaire.”

The consultation period is open until 7 November.