Second home owners in Ceredigion are set to be hit in the pocket by a hike in council tax premiums over the next two years after a consultation found that those that don’t own them are overwhelmingly in favour and want the premium to reach at least 100 per cent, while those that do are opposed to the tax hike.
Ceredigion currently has a 25 per cent premium on both second homes and empty properties, while neighbouring authorities have higher levels, but new Welsh Government local tax rules now allow local authorities being to collect council tax premiums up to 300 per cent.
Ceredigion County Council launched a consultation earlier this year on raising the level of the premium.
The consultation ended in October, with the results set out in a report set to go before cabinet members on Tuesday, 5 December.
The report recommends to full council to accept a move that will see a 100 per cent council tax premium on second homes introduced from April next year, with a second rise to 150 per cent coming in April 2025.
For long-term empty homes it is proposed to introduce from April 2024 a tiered system that would charge a 100 per cent premium on properties that have been empty for up to five years, a 150 per cent charge on those empty for between five and 10 years, and a 200 per cent levy on those empty for more than 10 years.
The report says the consultation received 1,403 responses.
The consultation found that 53 per cent of those not owning a second home were in favour of increasing the premium, while 94 per cent did not think it was appropriate.
Seventy-two per cent of those not owning a long-empty property thought a tax hike was appropriate, while 85 per cent who do own one disagreed.
A large majority (82 per cent) of people who supported a raise in the premium supported the tax rising to 100 per cent or higher, with more than half wanting 150 per cent or higher.
Three in four wanted the raised premium to be applied from as early as April next year.
“Clearly long-term empty property and second home owners did not generally support an increase in the council tax premium, but in both cases a majority of non-owners did,” the council report outlined.
Figures show they are currently 1,697 second homes in Ceredigion, and 592 empty properties.
A final decision on the premiums is set to be made at a full council meeting on 14 December.
Seven Ceredigion councillors, including its leader, with an interest in the outcome of the move sought dispensation from the Ethics and Standards Committee to speak on the issue ahead of the meeting.