Support for additional tax on second homes in the Forest
By David Wood | 18th September 2023
Forest of Dean District Council is supporting emerging new government legislation which will increase the council tax payments on empty and second homes, with the aim of increasing the number of homes available for local people in the area.
Cllr Andy Moore, cabinet member for finance, said: "We are supporting this new Government legislation with the intention of making more homes available to local people.
"The rise in the cost of housing in the Forest has made it very difficult for local people to buy homes. There are currently over 300 second homes across the Forest and we believe that this legislation will help to bring that number down.
"We hope that the legislation will lead to more homes being available for our residents and we will adopt this legislation once it has passed through government.
"The additional income brought into the council from the empty and second homes will also help us to continue to support local services for residents at a time when Government funding is reducing."
In May 2022, the Government published the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill. The bill included proposals aimed at further addressing empty properties through the reduction in time after which a premium on an empty property can be charged (from two years to one year). It will also allow councils to introduce a council tax premium of up to 100% on second homes.
The legislation has not yet been passed by the Government, but councils across the country are supporting the measures in principle to allow them to be applied once the legislation is passed.
The premium for second homes can only be implemented with the council giving at least one year's notice to council tax payers. Therefore, the council would need to make a decision before April 1st 2024, for this to take effect from April 2025. Should the legislation not be passed as intended, the premium will not be introduced.
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