Second Homeowners Could Lose 10% Rebate

The Town Hall

Second Homeowners in Scilly could loose their 10% Council tax discount.

But it could be up to the Council to decide whether to implement that change and it comes with a warning from Scilly’s MP that such a move could reduce our Town Hall income.

The Coalition Government has announced plans to axe the tax rebate for people with holiday homes but Communities Secretary, Eric Pickles, has said local authorities will have the final say.

19% of Scilly’s housing stock is classed as second home property – that’s the second highest in the UK after the City of London.

Mr George isn’t a fan of second homeowners and says, “millions have been spent every year subsidising the wealthy to have their second homes when thousands of local families couldn’t afford their first.”

But he warns that this could reduce the Council’s income as some owners may opt to pay business rates rather than Council tax to achieve greater tax efficiency.

Business rates are paid to Central Government rather than the Town Hall on St Mary’s.

He favours planning regulations to restrict the numbers of second homes.

In Scilly our Council does that to some extent by placing section 106 restrictions on new homes, meaning they can only be occupied by locals or by key staff.

Director of Finance, Peter Lawrence-Roberts suggested that the Town Hall hadn’t formed a view on what to do as yet.  He said, “it is, at this stage, only a consultation and we will have to wait for the definitive legislative proposals to be put forward once the consultation is completed. We will, of course, put in a response to the consultation, as we did with the Localisation of Council Tax proposals, if it is in the interest of the Council and the islands to do so.