Second homeowners will have to pay double council tax in Cornwall after proposals to increase bills were approved.
The plans to impose a premium on second properties were unanimously approved by Cornwall Council yesterday (17 January), with the hope the changes could bring in up to £25million in extra revenue each year.
The increase in tax could be introduced in April next year, but it is dependent on legislation being approved by Parliament before the end of March this year.
Cllr Linda Taylor, leader of Cornwall Council, said: “One of our key priorities as an administration has been to address the housing issues we face in Cornwall, and today’s decision will help us to do just that.
“By increasing the premium on second homes, we will be not only increasing revenue, but also making people think about what they do with these properties, many of which are empty for much of the year.
“I am pleased by today’s result, it is a good start to the new year for Cornwall.”
There are concerns though that homeowners could attempt to avoid paying the increased council tax.
Cllr David Harris, who introduced the plans, said: “I am sure that some people will be trying to find ways to dodge this extra charge and I can assure you that I will be working with officers to look at every possible dodge and and how we block these.”