Another council slaps 100% extra tax on property owne…

Another council slaps 100% extra tax on property owners

A council has agreed a council tax rise of an additional 100% on second home and long-term empty homes, despite widespread public opposition.

No fewer than 44% of respondents to a consultation by Neath Port Talbot council said they ‘strongly disagreed’ with the idea – but the council has now backed the initiative.

The latest charge means owners of second homes or long-term empty properties will now be charged a premium of 200% on their council tax bill following an initial 100% increase that was first put in place by the local authority back in 2020.

A report to the council read:  “The charging of a 100% premium on long-term empty dwellings and second homes would raise additional revenue through council tax collection. This is estimated at a maximum of £2,389,858.21, based on the full year impact of a 100% premium, once both premiums are implemented (April 2025), and based on the current 98% collection rate at average Band D council tax rates.”

And councillor Simon Knoyle told a meeting: “As members we have all experienced the problems caused by long-term empty properties in our communities. The introduction of a council tax premium should incentivise homeowners to return their properties to good use.”

Any long term empty property purchased by a new owner would have a six month grace period before the additional tax was applied.

Last year the Welsh Government introduced legation allowing all local authorities to charge premiums of up to 300% on long term empty properties and some second homes. 

A long-term empty dwelling is defined as one which is both “unoccupied and substantially unfurnished for a continuous period of at least one year” while a second home is defined as a dwelling that is not a person’s “sole or main residence and is substantially furnished”.

Neath Port Talbot council claims it has 1,153 long-term empty homes plus 555 properties classed as second homes that pay the 100% charge.

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