Second home owners in Denbighshire to get council tax hike by 100%

There were estimated to be more than 100 households assessed to be homeless between 2021-22.

Holiday and second homeowners in Denbighshire will see a hike in their council tax after new rules were passed by councillors.

A 100% premium will be introduced in April next year and will rise again to 150% in 2025.

Owners of long-term empty properties will face paying even more. They will pay 150% above the standard charge from next year, and 200% from April 2025.

The council say the money that is raised will be invested in services to deal with homelessness in Denbighshire.

At a council meeting on Monday night, there was opposition to the plans. Cllr Bobby Feeley questioned the validity of a consultation, saying the number of people who responded was "very low."

“The council page was viewed 2,132 times with 898 visits to the actual consultation survey, and out of those, 175 completed the survey,” she said.

"What I’m calling into question is how few people this is out of the 96,000 residents that we have in Denbighshire, so it is difficult to accept the conclusion of your report that Denbighshire residents think there is a need to increase the council tax by 150%.

"By far the majority, I would say, are not particularly interested.”

Data from 2022 shows that Denbighshire's tourism sector has grown to record highs.

Lead member for finance Cllr Gwyneth Ellis insisted the consultation was valid, saying: "I’m satisfied there are methodologies behind the number of responses and so on.

"It is something that is really, really common and happens with almost every consultation that we do.”

Second homes are a contentious issue in Wales and there are concerns about their impact on locals living in tourist hotspots.

Some argue holiday homes can push locals out of their own communities, particularly young people, who can't afford to get on the property ladder.

There are worries this can even contribute to homelessness in seaside and rural communities.

Currently, owners of second homes and long-term empty properties pay a 50% premium.

Last year, the Welsh Government announced it would allow councils to charge up to 300% extra.

There are many places across Wales which benefit from and rely heavily on tourism during the summer months.

According to Denbighshire council, the average council tax bill is around £1,800 per year before any premiums.

Welsh government data shows there are 422 second homes in Denbighshire and 883 long-term empty properties, all of which are likely to be affected by the premium increase.

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know…