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October 19 2016
An Article In Favour Of Raising 2nd Home Council Tax - The Second Home Tax Debate
As a wealthy developed country many of us can choose where we have our home. Some may even be in such a financial situation to have more than one home and even in other countries.
Gwynedd has 5000 second homes.
- A number of questions need to be addressed when considering this debate.
- How the second home was acquired?
- Is the second home providing an income? (rented out)
- Is the house owned outright or mortgaged, intended as in investment?
- Has the second home been renovated, developed or rebuilt in recent years?

The fundamental issue is Gwynedd Council has a deficit of £5million.
All households are likely to have an increase in their Council tax by 3.9%.
The UK tax system is based on income, therefore naturally the wealthiest of the society pay more than the less well off.
The average income for Gwynedd is £22k a year. The average house price is £120K.
The cheapest property for sale in my local area is £110K and the most expensive is £3 million.
I have conducted my own personal survey on my own local street.
- Average house price post code is £500K
- 30% permanent residence
- 70% second home
- 20% inherited from deceased family
- 30% provide rented holiday accommodation
- 30% don’t provide rented accommodation but are second homes
- 80% have been recently renovated or planned renovation (10yrs)
- 100% are well maintained and in good order
- 30% have regular gardening services
- 20% acquired from second home
- 30% acquired from local resident to become second home
I’m born in Pwllheli, a fluent Welsh speaker and semi retired teacher, I’ve lived in Abersoch 30 years. My late husband had the foresight: to self build two houses in Abersoch, on the budget we could afford at that time. We both worked full time at that time too. We benefitted from the Abersoch boom property years. Many of our friends own second homes and they too have worked hard to be able to afford their properties.
This debate must not be seen as the locals verses the second home owner, and some inflammatory comments can cause offence.
Based on my street, I believe that none of the properties would sell up and not return to the area. Maybe the rent may increase for holiday lets. In fact one home owner was particularly sympathetic to the plight of Gwynedd’s dilemma. Although we all oppose tax increases of any kind.
Abersoch is unique and has enjoyed prosperity. However the situation appears very wealth driven. Property development is at its craziest, fuelling the second home market.
The property prices may stabilize in Abersoch with this increase second home tax, which is not bad thing. The few home owners that may struggle with paying the tax, I suspect have already mortgaged out to buy these ‘ investment properties’ . That’s their choice and they’re already risk takers.
The important point is fairness, and even value for money.
If your second home is worth £3 million, and you use it as a business (rented income, but also generating income for the local economy) then maybe your council tax premium should be higher than a second home (inherited by family) worth £200k and used solely by you and your family, as a holiday destination on a regular basis, contributing to the local economy.
If you have two cars, you have to pay two car taxes… if one causes more pollution then it has to pay more.
This debate is not about the Welsh language, affordable homes or even tourism.
If you can afford to develop properties as recently seen in Abersoch , and have the desire to own your second home in Abersoch is so great. Then…….
I personally believe it is the second home owner social responsibility to assist Gwynedd council that ensure that Pen Llyn and Abersoch, is safe and pretty for them to enjoy. Coastal path, beach patrol, highways etc.
Essential social services to locals are been slashed please help!!


- For 2 Articles Against The Proposed Raising Of 2nd Home Council Tax - click here.


- To have your say at the public consultation - click here.


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