Argyll and Bute Council is in favour of the Scottish Government’s proposal to allow councils the discretion to increase council tax charges on second homes should they wish.
The Scottish Government is currently running a consultation on council tax for second and empty homes, and non-domestic rates thresholds. At today’s meeting of the Full Council, members agreed to respond to the consultation in support of increasing council tax on these properties by up to 100%.
There are currently around 3,000 second homes in Argyll and Bute. This is 6.2% of the overall council tax register – higher than any other local authority in Scotland and much higher than the national average of 0.9%.
The council’s Policy Lead for Financial Services and Major Projects, Councillor Gary Mulvaney, said: “Giving local authorities the power to increase council tax on second homes could help to ease the pressure on the local housing market and generate additional income for local services. It could help with economic fairness and long-term rental opportunities, whilst assisting more our residents in getting on the property ladder.
“Increasing council tax on these properties in Argyll and Bute could result in an additional income of £4 million – money that could be used to help fund essential services, infrastructure development, and community projects.
“There are, however, some disadvantages to increasing council tax, such as the impact it will have on property owners and the local tourism economy, and these are things which would need careful consideration if we were to go down that route.”
The consultation is running until 11 July and is available on the Scottish Government website.