Should second home owners have to pay more tax to support Welsh communities?

250821 Barmouth second homes
Credit: Welsh Government

People in Wales are being asked to have their say on local taxes which could be used by councils to tackle the effects large numbers of second homes have in some communities.

The Welsh Government consultation will seek views on the maximum level at which local authorities can set council tax premiums on second homes and the criteria for a property to be defined as non-domestic, self-catering accommodation.

The Welsh Government says they want to ensure all homeowners and businesses make a fair contribution to the communities in which they own or let property.

This additional income can be used to help the supply of affordable housing or invested in services such as public transport.

Campaigners are warning some communities face being "swept away" by a huge increase in second home ownership.

An increase in demand for second homes and a sharp rise in house prices means local people aren't able to buy in their local community and have to look elsewhere.

It was estimated that there were 24,423-second homes in Wales at the beginning of 2020.

Julie James, Climate Change Minister acknowledged the contribution second homeowners make to Wales' reputation as a welcoming, bilingual society.

She said: "We also recognise the impact that higher numbers of second homes and self-catered holiday lets can have on local housing and rental markets and on the sustainability of local communities.

In some areas, they may compromise the sustainability of Welsh as a community language."