Double Second Home Council Tax Plan To Build New Homes

Plymouth Labour is proposing to double council tax for second home owners and use the money raised to build new homes and support Plymothians struggling with the cost of living crisis.

The city’s Labour councillors are planning to bring an amendment to the Budget meeting on Monday 27 February and one proposal is to adopt a 100% Council Tax Second Homes Premium.

The money raised would be used to accelerate building of new homes in the city and also provide a discretionary local payment of up to £25 per eligible working-age household who are in work and also in receipt of Universal Credit.

In May 2022, the Government published the Levelling-Up and Regeneration Bill in May 2022 which included proposals aimed at addressing the negative impact of second homes on the supply of homes available to meet local housing need. 

The Bill proposes that councils will be allowed to introduce a Council Tax premium of up to 100% in respect of second homes, meaning second home owners would pay double the amount of council tax for having a second home in Plymouth.

Councillor Mark Lowry, Plymouth Labour’s Finance spokesperson, said: “We know most people can’t afford to buy a house in Plymouth and now they can’t even afford to rent somewhere so something has to change.

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“The discretionary payment will support those who will see their council tax go up as well as all the other cost of living implications they are having to deal with.

“Our proposal – taxing those who already have more than one home – will accelerate house building in the city, which we sorely need. Builders only started building 162 new properties last year, that is nowhere near enough when we have 11,000 households on the waiting list.

“We have a Conservative-created housing crisis in the city, only Labour has a plan to fix it.”