An­gle­sey con­sid­ers tax hike on sec­ond homes

Wales On Sunday - - NEWS -

IN­CREAS­ING the coun­cil tax premium on own­ers of sec­ond or hol­i­day homes will be de­bated by An­gle­sey coun­cil­lors.

In April 2017, the author­ity in­tro­duced a 25% premium on own­ers of long-term empty or sec­ond homes in an at­tempt to help lo­cals get on the hous­ing lad­der.

But while many other au­thor­i­ties in West Wales have de­cided to fol­low suit, the ma­jor­ity al­ready levy an ex­tra 50% rather than 25% premium.

As a re­sult, elected mem­bers on the is­land are set to con­sider a sim­i­lar in­crease go­ing for­ward.

Fig­ures re­leased by Her Majesty’s Rev­enue and Cus­toms show 36% of all homes sold on An­gle­sey dur­ing 2017-18 were sec­ond homes or buy-to-lets, a jump from 29% a year ear­lier. As a re­sult, 450 trans­ac­tions took place worth a to­tal of £92m over the past fi­nan­cial year, with 2,627 sec­ond or hol­i­day homes reg­is­tered.

An­other 697 homes are reg­is­tered as long-term empty, with de­ci­sion mak­ers set to con­sider im­ple­ment­ing the same or dif­fer­ent coun­cil tax rates for each des­ig­na­tion.

This has raised con­cern from lan­guage group, Cymdei­thas yr Iaith, that the in­flux is hav­ing an im­pact on lo­cals’ abil­ity to buy homes in their own com­mu­nity while also hav­ing a detri­men­tal ef­fect on the Welsh lan­guage.

The Treard­dur and Llan­faelog wards, which in­cludes the vil­lage of Rhos­neigr, both have more than 300 sec­ond homes within their bound­aries. Mean­while there are an­other 225 based in the Ben­l­lech area and 151 within the bound­aries of Holy­head.

Gwynedd, which al­ready im­ple­ments a 50% premium, ex­pe­ri­enced an even higher per­cent­age of hol­i­day home sales which made up 39% of all prop­erty sales dur­ing 2017-18.

The con­tin­u­ing rise comes de­spite the UK Gov­ern­ment im­ple­ment­ing an ex­tra 3% stamp duty charge on ad­di­tional prop­er­ties, in­tro­duced in 2016 to try to de­ter buy-to-let land­lords and sec­ond home own­ers.

An­gle­sey will now con­sider sim­i­lar pro­pos­als which could bring ex­tra rev­enue at a time when the author­ity is try­ing to plug a £7m gap in its bud­get.

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