Could second home owners and empty home owners pay double council tax?

Could second home owners and empty home owners pay double council tax? <i>(Image: Newsquest)</i>
Could second home owners and empty home owners pay double council tax? (Image: Newsquest)

SECOND homeowners and empty property owners could be made to pay double their council tax on the Isle of Wight, if new legislation is approved.

As the housing crisis continues and with more than 3,000-second homes now recorded on the Island,  the Isle of Wight Council is looking to introduce new tax premiums.

They could be introduced nationally for local authorities through the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill which is currently in its fourth stage in the House of Commons.

Once it is approved, the IW Council is looking to enforce the extra charges from April 1, 2024.

An Alliance administration spokesman reiterated the need for national legislation to be introduced and said they were only looking into the possibility in principle like other local authorities have done.

They said it would be inappropriate not to look at this option as it is a potential source of income generation.

In North Yorkshire, councillors have backed plans to introduce the council tax premiums should government allow it.

They have said the proposals would help bring more houses back into use for local people after they had been priced out of the housing market but also provide a £14 million boost to the council's finances.

In current IW Council tax policies, any property unoccupied and unfurnished for two years is charged an extra 100 per cent of their council tax.

For properties empty for at least five years, the charge goes up to an extra 200 per cent and those empty for ten years are hit with 300 per cent extra.

In figures included in the council's Draft Island Planning Strategy, there are thought to be 1,150 empty homes on the Island although a more 'meaningful figure' would be 746.

The council says that is because the lower figure does not include homes empty for probate reasons, residents receiving care elsewhere or repossessions.

The council is now looking to bring in a 100 per cent charge for properties that have been left empty and unfurnished for a year as well as charging an extra 100 per cent for second homes.

Isle of Wight councillors will be asked to support the move in January.