The Conservative Group on Cornwall Council has welcomed the news that the Government has today confirmed the tax loophole that has allowed some owners of second homes to abuse the system will be closed.
Currently some second home-owners avoid paying any commercial or domestic rates by saying that their second homes were holiday lets when they aren’t.
However today Secretary of State for Levelling Up Rt Hon Michael Gove has confirmed the loophole will be closed from April 2023, and that in future owners of second homes will have to prove they have been available and let in order to qualify as businesses.
Commenting, Cllr Olly Monk, Cabinet Member responsible for Housing and Planning at Cornwall Council said:
“Today’s news from the Government that people who own second or holiday homes in Cornwall will no longer be able to automatically claim business rate relief unless they prove that the property is actually used a business is a great step forward and a vindication of what we have been trying to achieve since taking office May 2021.”
“These measures will mean that any unscrupulous second home owners who were getting away with not paying council tax or any business rates will now either have to deregister their properties and pay council tax (like everybody else) or provide sufficient evidence that their property is actually ran as a business.”
“We still have more to do and will continue to work with the Government to lobby for additional powers, including those ensuring that any properties not used as a primary residence will have to apply for a license/planning and also to give Cornwall Council the ability to charge a surcharge on the Council tax bills of second homes. However this shows that our Government in Westminster are listening to Cornwall and are prepared to take action that will help with the our current Housing Crisis.”
Leader of Cornwall Council Linda Taylor said:
“Today’s announcement is fantastic news for Cornwall and a good step forward in making sure everyone contributes fairly to council services by paying rates that are appropriate to their properties.”
“This is something Conservatives on Cornwall Council have long called for, and since taking over the council in May last year, Cornwall Council has joined with our six Cornwall Conservative MPs in making the case to Government.”
“I am pleased the Government has listened and taken this sensible step. We will continue to work with our MPs and the Government to work towards further addressing these issues, to ensure everyone pays their fair share and also help address our housing crisis.”