Liberal Democrat motion: Introduction of Council Tax Premium for Second Homes

A proposed motion for the introduction of Council Tax Premium for Second Homes.

Proposed by: Cllr Tony Fisher

The council notes:

  • The regressive and unfair nature of the Council Tax system.
  • Second home ownership in York was estimated at 429 in 2020/21, according to the National Housing Federation, and is recognised to have a negative impact in terms of the supply of homes available to meet local housing need.
  • The negative impact of an increase in the number of second homes in terms of the supply of homes available to meet local housing need and residents being priced out of the housing market.
  • The average house price in York, which was estimated to be £315,202 in June 2022, according to the Land Registry.
  • That in 2018, City of York Council introduced a policy to charge an extra 50 per cent (bringing it to a 100 per cent) in Council tax on long-term empty homes in an effort to bring empty homes into proper use.
  • Following the announcement in May of the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill, which is still progressing though Parliament without a confirmed timeframe, Councils will be able to utilise a new discretionary council tax premium of up to 100% on second homes which are not let out or lived in for at least 70 days a year.
  • Initial, high level analysis, shows that the application of a 100 per cent premium on second homes in York could generate in excess of £740,000 in additional Council Tax revenue.

Council therefore resolves to:

  • Request officers to bring a paper to a meeting of the Executive outlining the implications and options for implementing a 100 per cent council tax premium of second homes in York, with a view to implementing the policy once national legislation has been granted Royal assent.
  • Request the Chief Operating Officer to write to relevant Minsters on behalf of the council in support of the introduction of the council tax premium for second homes and seek assurance that loopholes that could see second home owners avoid the payment of the premium will be addressed.