Holiday homeowners could soon face double council tax

Feb 14, 2024

Holiday let and empty homeowners in the region could soon face higher council tax bills and bin collection charges as government prepares to hand local authorities more powers to raid holiday homes, warn accountants and business advisors Whitley Stimpson.

According to the Office for National Statistics data nearly one in ten properties in the Cotswolds region are currently vacant.  This alarming statistic has raised significant concerns among civic chiefs regarding the growing number of second homes and properties being used as holiday rentals.  

The local community is increasingly worried about the impact this trend is having on the availability of affordable housing and the overall vibrancy of the area. Housing Secretary Michael Gove has publicly declared his intentions to the ‘scourge’ of empty properties to prevent ‘desperate’ families being ‘pushed out’ of their hometowns.

The Local Democracy Reporting Service has reported that currently £148.93 of a band D property’s annual council tax bill goes towards council services.  Finance cabinet member Mike Evemy stated that the authority would be discussing this matter in March.  He said that officers are already working on a potential proposal to raise council tax on second homes and vacant properties as well as actively developing charges for waste collection on second properties.

Jonathan Walton, Director at Whitley Stimpson explains:

“We understand that these proposed changes may have significant financial implications for some of our clients.  Our team of experts is ready to provide advice and support to ensure our clients are well-prepared and can make informed decisions regarding their tax obligations.”

It is understood one in four councils in England have already made their minds up and agreed to double the levy.

Whitley Stimpson which has offices in Banbury, Bicester, High Wycombe, and Witney advises clients across the region and has a team of experienced accountants and business advisers which can help clients understand the potential impact of the new regulations on their tax liabilities.