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Tuesday, July 18, 2023

County cabinet agrees big tax rises for second and empty homes

Denbighshire looks likely to go ahead with major increases to council tax premiums on long-term empty and second homes. 

At its meeting earlier today the county council’s cabinet unanimously recommended increasing the charges to 100% from April 2024, then 150% from April 2025. 

The proposal will now go before the full council for final approval in September. 

Denbighshire recently held a public consultation on increasing the tax premiums on long term-empty homes and second homes.  

The council says results showed the majority of respondents who live in Denbighshire felt there was a need for an increase in the charges for both categories of homes. 

Owners of these homes did not generally support the proposals, although there was slightly more support for a charge for long-term empty properties. 

The results were included in a report that was presented to the cabinet today, where members recommended that officers proceed with the next steps to take forward the proposals by taking a report to full council in September. 

The proposals support the council’s Corporate Plan which aims to encourage home owners not to leave their properties empty and bring them back into use for the benefit of local Denbighshire communities and also their economies. 

Although the Welsh Government has given powers for increases up to 300%, the proposals which will now go forward for consideration by full council are: 

•  Second home and long term empty premium charge will remain at 50% for April 2023 then increase to 100% from April 2024 then 150% from April 2025. 

•  Those properties that have been unoccupied and unfurnished for five years or more will pay a higher premium at 50% more than the standard premium. 

Cllr Rhys Thomas, Lead Member for Housing and Communities, said: “We are fully aware of how much housing is needed in our local communities to support families who want to stay in the county and thus contribute to the local economies promoting growth and support for local culture. 

“This scheme will help encourage these empty properties to become available again for local residents who will in turn add to sustaining and improving our county’s economic health.”

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