North Yorkshire second home owners face double council tax bill

North Yorkshire homes
There are concerns local people are being squeezed out of the housing market. Credit: PA

Second home owners in North Yorkshire could be the first in England to face a double council tax bill.

The county council will consider introducing a 100% council tax premium on second properties following concerns that local people are being squeezed out of the housing market.

A report to the council's executive, to be discussed at a meeting on Tuesday, 20 September, said: "Second home ownership within the North Yorkshire area is significant and is recognised to have a negative impact in terms of the supply of homes available tomeet local housing need."

The levy would apply to properties left empty for more than a year and could generate £14million in revenue, the report said.

It comes amid concern that young families are being forced from areas where house prices are several times above average wages.

Last year the Rural Commission recommended a charge on second homes to finance affordable housing.

Earlier this year, people in Whitby voted in favour of new measures to reduce the number of homes being used for holiday accommodation.

A decision about the proposed second homes premium was postponed by the county council after some members raised concerns it would encourage council tax avoidance.

Some said the measure would be difficult to implement.

But, citing similar measures in Wales, the report said: "The second homes figures in Wales suggest that, regardless of any avoidance issues that might remain within the system, there should still be sufficient incentive for the council to consider a council tax premium on second homes in order to help address the issues caused by second home ownership within the area."

If agreed, the measure would be introduced by the council from April 2024.

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