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Members to discuss council tax hike on second homes

Members are to discuss the possibility of increasing council tax on second homes on the Isles of Scilly.

The option is one of four outlined by Chief Finance Officer Andy Brown for increasing revenue for the Local Authority in the long term.

There are currently thought to be around 200 second homes on the islands.

Andy said in his report: “This option is looking at the potential to significantly increase council tax levels for second home properties. We know this will require Government approval but the Council of the Isles of Scilly will not be alone in looking at this direction of travel; Yorkshire Dales have proposed an increase of four times the level of Council Tax for second homes.

“The knock on impact of this may have additional benefit by moving homes back on to the market and available for the local community and local young families.”

He added: “It is envisaged at this stage that this would not apply to holiday lets."

A Councillor told This is Scilly News that a £3,000 council tax increase on second homes would bring a potential gain for the Authority of around £600,000 per year. The Council is unable to raise council tax on second homes unilaterally and would have to ask permission from central government.

Similar increases are being considered elsewhere in the UK. The Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority has backed the idea of a five-year pilot to test whether a substantial increase in council Tax for second homes would have a positive effect on the region. A December report by the YDNPA suggested a rate for second homes of at least five times the standard council tax, meaning a bill of at least £8,500 a year for a Band D property.

Any rise considered by Scilly's Council is likely to be substantially less.

Members will discuss the options for increasing revenue at the Full Council meeting on January 18th.


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