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Neath Port Talbot Politics South Wales

Consultations begin on empty and second homes in Neath Port Talbot

Neath Port Talbot Council

NEATH Port Talbot Council has approved a consultation process on plans to put a 100% premium tax on long-term empty and second homes across the borough, at a cabinet meeting on June 28.

A report was presented to cabinet outlining the discretionary powers that councils have had since April 2017 under the Housing (Wales) Act 2014, to be able to charge higher amounts of up to 100% on top of the standard rate of council tax on long-term empty homes and second homes.

The discretionary power given to local authorities to charge the premiums was intended to help local authorities to bring long-term empty homes back into use, and support local authorities in increasing the supply of affordable housing while enhancing the sustainability of local communities.

A long-term empty property is defined as a place of residence which is both unoccupied and substantially unfurnished for a continuous period of at least one year.

Data shows shows that there are currently 892 long-term empty homes across Neath Port Talbot which would have the 100% premium charged on them if the proposals are approved following consultation.

The report read: “The charging of a 100% premium on long-term empty dwellings and second homes would raise additional revenue through council tax collection. Based on current numbers it is estimated that this additional income would be in the region of £2 million per annum.”

With council approval granted, the proposals to implement the premium will now go out to public consultation before the findings are brought back to the cabinet and a decision made towards the end of the year.