The Welsh government has announced that it is increasing the maximum amount that local authorities can charge as a council tax premium on second homes and long-term empty properties from 100% to 300%. The new policy is set to come into effect from April 2023 and will enable councils to decide the level which is appropriate for their individual local circumstances. The government has also said that councils will be able to apply different premiums to second homes and long-term empty dwellings.
The government said that it is introducing this change to help councils raise additional funding which will ideally be used to improve the supply of affordable housing.
The Welsh government will also change the criteria for self-catering accommodation being liable for business rates, instead of council tax, from April 2023. Currently, properties that are available to let for at least 140 days, and that are actually let for at least 70 days, will pay rates rather than council tax. The change will increase these thresholds to being available to let for at least 252 days and actually let for at least 182 days in any 12-month period.
Government figures show there were almost 24,000 chargeable second homes in Wales registered for council tax purposes in January 2022. Most local authorities no longer give any discounts to long-term empty or second homes.