Executive Members are asked to consider the contents of this report and recommend that Full Council approve in principle:
i. that the following additional Council Tax premiums be applied from 1 April 2024, subject to the required legislation being in place:
· 100% premium for properties which have been empty and unfurnished for a period of between 1 and 2 years;
· 100% premium for second homes.
Considered – A report of the Corporate Director, Strategic Resources presenting options for proposed changes to Council Tax premiums - as included within the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill, which subject to the Bill receiving Royal Assent prior to 31 March 2023, were due to become effective from 1 April 2024.
County Councillor Gareth Dadd introduced the report and drew attention to a previous report to the Executive that had been referred until additional information was made available. He highlighted that the County Council wanted to acknowledge the potential of avoidance of paying any uplift in Council Tax on second homes and confirmed the additional evidence gathered (as detailed in the report), had provided the necessary reassurance that avoidance would be minimised
He noted that certain villages and communities in North Yorkshire had been adversely affected by a growth in second homes. He accepted it was beyond the remit of the County Council to prevent the buying of second homes, but suggested it was within the Authority’s power to mitigate against its affects i.e. through the application of a Council Tax premium.
He went on to suggest the monies from the proposed premium could be deployed to aid in the mitigation of those affects, but exactly how had yet to be determined and would need to be tied in to any new Strategies on Housing and Planning. He also stressed his view that the additional monies should be used address the issue of the provision of local homes for local people.
He also recognised it would be helpful if Government enacted and gave royal assent to the requisite piece of legislation, and confirmed a revised policy on Council Tax premiums would need to be in place at least 12 months prior to its implementation.
Finally, in order to make a considered decision on how the yield be deployed, County Councillor Gareth Dadd proposed an additional recommendation that a further report be brought to the Executive, after the Quarter 2 of the financial year 2024/25, giving an analysis of the expected yield from the proposed Policy and the new Unitary’s Housing and Planning strategies.
Members recognised it was not only an issue in rural areas but also in coastal areas, and in response to their questions it was confirmed that:
· Private landlords would not be required to pay a second home premium for their unfurnished private lets for periods between tenancies;
· The Policy would only apply to a small number of private lets i.e. those that were let furnished;
· It was not a fund raising policy but a way of protecting communities and ensuring they had the facilities they need;
· The Council would be uniquely placed post 1st April 2023 as the Housing, Planning and Preceptor Authority to take the opportunity to try to address the Housing crisis in the county;
Having welcomed the report it was
Resolved – That:
i. It be recommended to Full Council to approve in principle that the following additional Council Tax premiums ... view the full minutes text for item 74