Second Homeowners In Scilly Set To Lose 10% Tax Discount
Second homeowners in Scilly are losing their 10% discount on council tax rates and will now pay 100%.
Cllr David Pearson claimed it was a difficult decision when many people were using former family homes as second homes and preferred to retain the 90% rate.
He said he was, “in favour of the island economy” and for the “welfare of the islands” and said the Council was supporting an income that already attracted tax.
But Cllr Richard McCarthy wanted to send a message that second homeowners should not be treated separately.
There are 193 second homes in Scilly and the move will increase the Town Hall’s income by £26,000.
Estate Agent Tony Dingley doesn’t think it will concern most second property owners as it will amount to around £120 a year.
There’ll be a 50% council tax reduction for the first year that properties are empty due to major repairs. Cllr Gaz O’Neil favoured no reduction though, claiming that people who could afford building work on their properties could afford to pay the full amount.
Empty properties will also receive a 50% reduction for the first six months, which Richard McCarthy said would help in cases where the resident had deceased and the family was trying to sell the property.
After the 7th month of a building being vacant, there will be no council tax discount. Chief technical officer Neville Gardner questioned whether people could just put up curtains and a chair in an empty home to get around this, but was told the government legislation refers to property that is “substantially unfurnished.”
From 7 to 24 months, empty homes will now pay the full council tax and after 2 years they will pay 150%, as a premium to “encourage people to get a move on.”