Sunday, November 28, 2010

Long overdue action taken

Lib Dems plotting council tax hike for second homes

Owners of second homes could be stripped of their council tax discount under Liberal Democrat plans to raise millions of pounds for town halls. There are currently 246,000 second homes registered for a discount in England, of which more than 40 per cent are larger properties in Band D or higher. Around 50 councils allow second-home owners to pay just half the tax of locals, though since 2004 some 85 councils have reduced their discounts from 50 per cent to the minimum 10 per cent.

Posted by drewster @ 03:44 PM (1436 views)
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15 thoughts on “Long overdue action taken

  • HIKE? The tax should never have been reduced. Shades of Gordon Brown.

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  • oooh look were on the telly…. the photo is a less well known view of St Ives

    Are they heck selling off the car parks like the article says, Cornwall Council plan to raise £13.42 million next year from car parks by hiking parking charges. £1100 a year for a resident permit in St Ives…

    They should give the extra money raised directly to the towns…. St Ives has been under funded for years and is falling into the sea.

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  • I always thought it outrageous that councils asked for less council tax for second homes.

    Apart from the fact that most MPs have second homes in their constituencies of course … oh hang on!

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  • tyrellcorporation says:

    Considering the carnage second homes actually cause to the social cohesion and sustainability of local economies and communities, council tax for second homes should be quadrupled.

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  • the number cruncher says:

    TC @ 3 – Unusually I find myself agreeing with every word you wrote @ 3… I would prefer a sliding scale – 4 times for your second home, then exponentially for any more, 16 times for a 3rd home and 64 times for a 4th home, and 1024 times for a 5th home. Royal family included of course 🙂

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  • tyrellcorporation says:

    LOL, NC, a rare moment indeed! 😉

    To add. Despite my obvious right wing leanings I have never seen any benefit at all to the multiple homes phenomenon that has occured over the last decade. It’s been an utter disaster for rural communities from Land’s End to The Outer Hebrides, and yet, has been fuelled by a blatant tax break for those in a position to keep buying. Absurd! (and very cruel to those caught up on the wrong side).

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  • Of course there shouldn’t be tax breaks for second homes – but neither should there be a punitive tax on them.

    Just replace all taxes with LVT – if somebody is happy and willing to pay £15,000 tax a year for the privilege of having a second home in Cornwall (or wherever), then good luck to them. We can just keep building second homes in Cornwall, and if there are enough mugs prepared to pay this, we could in theory, cover the whole cost of government with their entirely voluntary tax payments.

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  • [email protected]: ummm, you may want to ask the locals first before you pave over the countryside… :-] (I never thought I’d say that)

    Our social problems in St Ives are rooted in the fact that (most) second home owners, Cornwall Council and other assorted landlords take everything they can from St Ives and put nothing (or very little) back. The attitude of selfish institutional greed will need to change before we can realistically consider any fundamental structural changes like LVT.

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  • mark wadsworth says:

    PON, Cornwall is two-and-a-half times the size of Greater London and has less than a tenth of the population.

    There’s plenty of (physical) room for a million second homes, and seeing as second homers don’t send their kids to local schools or visit when they are poorly there’d be no particular “pressure on local services”.

    Call it £15,000 per year LVT each, that’d be £150 billion LVT to be divvied up among half a million Cornish people = £30,000 each per year. You pays your money and you takes your choice.

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  • MW – yup it was ironic… I have argued in the local press that we should build homes on fields…. lots of little clusters built by independent builders. But I’d much rather we built enough for the people who wanted to live and work here rather than spoil Cornwall to satisfy institutional and private greed or someones economic philosophy. A big part of why people like Cornwall is that it is not London, that’s the point, it has space, and that resource of largely undeveloped land and coast has to be part of the equation.

    The LVT argument is won for me, but not to feather personal or corporate nests. I’d just like to see more people living here in the homes that are already built, I’d like to see some social benefit from tourism. (don’t even think about suggesting that second home owners get their roofs fixed or that minimum wage jobs between April and September are suitable payback for the amount of money taken by the landlords)

    We can all live a very high quality of life if we see beyond our own self interest.

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  • MW – yup it was ironic… I have argued in the local press that we should build homes on fields…. lots of little clusters built by independent builders. But I’d much rather we built enough for the people who wanted to live and work here rather than spoil Cornwall to satisfy institutional and private greed or someones economic philosophy. A big part of why people like Cornwall is that it is not London, that’s the point, it has space, and that resource of largely undeveloped land and coast has to be part of the equation.

    The LVT argument is won for me, but not to feather personal or corporate nests. I’d just like to see more people living here in the homes that are already built, I’d like to see some social benefit from tourism. (don’t even think about suggesting that second home owners get their roofs fixed or that minimum wage jobs between April and September are suitable payback for the amount of money taken by the landlords)

    We can all live a very high quality of life if we see beyond our own self interest.

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  • How would you like living in London with 75% of the homes empty for most of year, no shops, no local facilites.
    London house prices and 3rd world wages.

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  • I think there is a case for a punitive tax on 2nd homes because of the social damage noted above. You could build and build, producing more homes than needed to shelter the population, but that in itself is a waste of resources. I recall a TV program where the locals were housed in a new estate (as grim as new estates often are) outside the Cornish village, while the good quality houses stood empty all week, filled by Surrey at the weekend. This kind of inequality is bad for society.

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  • mark wadsworth says:

    PON: ” I’d just like to see more people living here in the homes that are already built…”

    That’s yet another job which Landvaluetax-man is itching to get sorted. With LVT of £10,000 – £15,000 per home per year, how many people would want to own a second home? It’d be cheaper to stay with the family in a hotel for a month. But… if people really want to have a second home (to show off, basically), then great, all the LVT they pay is “free money” for the rest of society.

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  • MW if only there were a few people in the cabinet that thought like this, that understood the benefits of LVT and were true to their ideals…. oh I suppose we can dream :-[

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