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Consultation on council tax premiums on second homes postponed until December

Council tax rises would have to nearly double in Pembrokeshire if the second homes council tax premium is not used (Main Picture: Tenby, Gareth Davies)

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 in December rather than 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, and 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, with Pembrokeshire County Council’s Cabinet on course to consider the consultation results at its October 2 meeting, with a final decision on options, made by full council at its meeting on October 12.

Members of Pembrokeshire County Council’s Policy and Pre-decision Overview and Scrutiny Committee were due to discuss the recent consultation on the tax premiums at their meeting of September 19.

At the outset of the agenda item, they told that, following a recent members’ budget seminar, the decision had been taken to delay the item to the December meeting.

A discussion on the item at the September 19 committee was cut short following a request by Councillor Aled Thomas, who said he was not happy without sight of legal documentation, which was made available during previous meetings, but was not presented to the September 19 committee.

Cllr Thomas said he “wouldn’t feel comfortable making any recommendation without sight of that document”.

However, Councillor Jordan Ryan said the ‘legal document’ was more in the form of background information, adding: “It wasn’t some major thing; but is members want to postpone I don’t think it’s the end of the world.”

Cllr Thomas was seconded by Councillor Mike Stoddart, the motion passing by six votes to four, with one abstention.

An extraordinary meeting of the Policy and Pre-decision Overview and Scrutiny Committee is expected to discuss the issue further next month, with the matter going to full council in December.

Neighbouring Ceredigion has recently launched a similar consultation, which runs to October 29.

More to follow…

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