Climate Change Minister Julie James recently launched the Welsh Government consultations on council tax and non-domestic rates. James launched the consultation last month to address the impact of second home ownership seen in some Welsh communities. The government agrees that second home-owners and people who stay in holiday lets make important contributions to local economies. But, the Government also wants to ensure all homeowners and businesses pay a fair share to the communities in which they own or let property.
The consultations on council tax will seek views on the rates at which local authorities can set on second homes. An opportunity to look at long-term empty properties and criteria for non-domestic properties will also be discussed.
Local authorities in Wales have the power to introduce a 100 per cent council tax premium on both second homes and long-term empty homes (empty for more than a year). Wales also remains the only UK nation to allow for these reaching powers. One could argue that extra income here can help fix a number of other issues too relating to affordable housing. The extra funds could also go towards public services such as public transport.
The consultation also seeks views on how properties are classed as self-catering businesses and are listed for non-domestic rates.