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Pembrokeshire Politics West Wales

Cabinet members to discuss potential second homes tax increase

Little Haven (Pic: Google Street View)

A RECENT Pembrokeshire consultation on tax rule changes, which could see as much as a treble rate of council tax for second homes in future, will be discussed by senior councillors next month.

New local tax rules introduced by Welsh Government earlier this year saw local authorities being able to set and collect council tax premiums on second homes and long-term empty properties at up to 300 per cent.

Pembrokeshire is currently operating a 100 per cent council tax premium for second homes, having previously introduced a 50 per cent council tax premium on second homes in 2017.

A premium for long term empty properties in the county was introduced in 2019 for properties that have been empty for three years or more.

A public consultation on any potential changes was launched earlier this year, closing last month.

The consultation sought views on:

  • Current council tax premiums for second homes
  • Current council tax premiums for long-term empty homes
  • Whether the council should use its discretion following Welsh Government’s reform to self-catering holiday accommodation thresholds

Information recently published by Pembrokeshire Coast National Park showed that in some parts of the county more than 60 per cent of homes were second homes.

For the main centres of settlements within the national park, second home rates were: Tenby 28.07 per cent, Saundersfoot 29.35 per cent, St Davids 20.86 per cent and Newport 30.6 per cent.

For smaller communities within the national park, some of the figures were even higher.

Topping the list, by a large margin, were: Nolton Haven 60 per cent, and 62.96 per cent Little Haven.

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The recent Welsh Government rule changes also included new planning use classes and the ability of local authorities to make local amendments to the planning system, where they have evidence.

The criteria for holiday lets being liable for non-domestic rates instead of council tax has also been strengthened.

Pembrokeshire County Council’s Cabinet will now consider the consultation results at its October 2 meeting, with a final decision on options, ranging up to 300 per cent, made by full council at its meeting on October 12.

Neighbouring Ceredigion’s Cabinet is expected to ratify a request for a similar consultation to be held at its September 5 meeting.