Let’s tax second home ownership! The government is consulting on taxing second home ownership, let’s stop second home and holiday let tax avoidance and start funding our local services.
As a union, we hear repeatedly the impact on communities of second home ownership across Scotland. Second homes take up valuable housing that could be used for actual homes. Every second home or holiday let is one less place for someone to live. Not only that but second home ownership, particularly in holiday hotspots, forces up rents even further, pushing people out of communities they’ve grown up in or where they work.
By not paying council tax, second home owners deprive areas of valuable local funding. With many areas close to empty through long stretches of the year, local services, schools and businesses have been forced to close or are running on empty.
Enough is enough. We need to ensure people can live in the communities they call home and ensure that local services are properly funded. Fill in the consultation and demand the government takes the issue of second home ownership seriously. Our communities deserve better and that those that remain should not be subsidising second home owners access to services.
As more and more people struggle to find affordable places to call home, it is vital that we fight back to ensure that everyone has access to safe, secure, affordable housing. We need a local taxation system that puts the need for people to have access to homes and services above people hoarding empty properties. Join as a member to increase our power and make our voices louder.
In our consultation response we are calling for the government to:
- Tax the second homes. The government needs to add a council tax premium on second homes and empty homes. Except for purpose built holiday lets used for personal use: for example travelling communities.
- Raise second home tax year on year. Homes should be taxed by 100% more year on year to pressure second home owners to live in them or sell them.
- Expand the definition of what a second home is. We need to increase the days in definition for second homes so that more second homes are considered second homes or empty homes.
- Increase days actually let for short-term lets to ensure that most self-catering short-term lets pay council taxes and contribute to the local economy.
- Exempt self-catering short-term let accommodation from the lower small business council tax rates.
- The Scottish Government should create new planning class use in order to ensure that there are no loopholes and all short-term let business contribute to the local economy.