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Welsh Government seeks public opinion on local taxes on second homes and holiday lets

Tŷ Haf (Image: Gwalia)

Views are being sought on potential changes to local taxes, which could be used by local authorities to tackle the negative effects that large numbers of second homes and commercial holiday lets are having on large swathes of the country.

The Welsh Government consultation on council tax and non-domestic rates is part of a "summer of action" launched by Climate Change Minister Julie James last month to address the impact of second home ownership seen in many communities across the country.

The consultation will seek views on the maximum level at which local authorities can set council tax premiums on second homes and long-term empty properties and the criteria for a property to be defined as non‑domestic, self-catering accommodation.

This additional income can be used to address issues affecting the supply of affordable housing or for the provision of public services and other facilities such as public transport.

The consultation also seeks views on the circumstances in which properties are classed as self-catering businesses and are listed for non-domestic rates.

Currently all occupied small business properties below a specified rateable value, including self-catering units, are eligible for Small Business Rates Relief (SBRR), subject to a limit of two properties per business per local authority.

This consultation considers the criteria for defining properties as non-domestic self‑catering accommodation and whether different thresholds are needed.

Finance and Local Government Minister Rebecca Evans said: “We want to hear from people living in communities affected by these issues as well as owners of second homes and holiday lets, trade representatives of the self-catering and tourism industry, and local authorities.

“We anticipate receiving a wide range of responses which will all inform our future policies on potential changes to local taxes so that we have a fairer system for everyone.”

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