Gwynedd Council considers tax hike on second homes

Gwynedd Council has launched a consultation on whether it should increase council tax on properties which are not the sole property owned by the owner.

The Council currently has almost 5,000 second homes and has previously warned that a potential loophole could make councils worse off.

The move would follow Pembrokeshire, Ceredigion, Ynys Môn and Conwy which have all increased council tax for second homes.

The Welsh Government has given councils the power to charge up to 100 per cent above the normal council tax rate on second homes from the 2017-18 financial year.

Gwynedd Council highlighted that it had seen a trend of second homes being transferred from the council tax regime to be commercially let, while paying reduced business rates and avoiding the premium - which could result in councils losing tax income.

Dafydd Edwards, Gwynedd council's head of finance, said: "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."

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