Cornwall second homes: 300% tax hike a 'great idea' – BBC.com


Housing campaigners have welcomed proposals in Wales for a big increase in council tax for second homes.
A decision by the Welsh government could see second home owners pay four times their current council tax.
Loveday Jenkin of party Mebyon Kernow said it was a "great idea" and would ease the "housing emergency in Cornwall".
The move is aimed at stopping local people being priced out of areas popular with second home owners.
Jonathan Martin, a spokesman for the Home Owners of Wales Group, told BBC Radio Wales Breakfast that he would fight the proposals.
Ms Jenkin said: "We need to look at what's going to work best for Cornwall.
"Additional council tax on houses that are not in permanent occupation I think is a great idea because they are not being used for the local community.
"And we have a desperate housing emergency in Cornwall at the moment."
But Cornwall Liberal Democrat councillor Thalia Marrington said a council tax rise would have no effect because many holiday homes were run as lettings businesses so owners could avoid paying council tax and access small business rates relief.
"Something like that is not going to affect them, you could put it up 10 times," she said.
"But we have to do something."
Second homes were "taking away valuable housing stock", she said.
"Everyone should be able to aspire to own their own home and we are in a bizarre situation now where people can't and that feels wrong."
Luke Pollard, Labour MP for Plymouth Sutton and Devonport, praised the move in parliament and urged ministers to "look at how the government can adopt the Welsh proposals".
He said: "Every west country family should have a first home.
"As a region we are becoming known as a region of second homes and holiday lets."
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