Rise in Tax or Cuts to Jobs and Front Line Services Threatened
Pembrokeshire is facing the possibility of a second inflation-thumping council tax increase for the second year in a row.
On top of last year’s 12.5% increase in local council tax for residents, the County Council are now warning that due to real-term cuts to funding of around 0.4%, the council has to consider the possibility of raising council tax for the 2019/2020 period by as much as 28% – or face huge layoffs of staff, which would have an impact on frontline services, which are already stretched to capacity.
Whilst this news is unwelcomed for residents, the impact of the rise for the second year in a row would also impact second homeowners who last year chose to ride out or absorb the costs of paying 100% increases in council tax. A lot of second or holiday home owners in Pembrokeshire then chose to switch to business rates, letting their property through FBM Holidays which meant they would not be liable to pay the increased tax on their second homes.
However, this latest increase – well over and above the rate of inflation – may force a lot of homeowners who chose not to switch to business rates to think again.
FBM Holidays have a proud history of holiday letting in the county, and last year helped over 80 different owners begin their holiday letting journey, allowing them to take advantage of rules set by the council which sees the 100% increase in council tax (which would also rise by 28% should current measures being tabled be introduced) be bypassed in favour paying business rates on their property in return for allowing the homes and dwellings to be opened up to holiday let. Current criteria for letting requires that for a holiday home to be considered for business rate relief, it would need to be open and available to let fora minimum of 140 days during the calendar year, with half of those days (70) being booked for holiday rental.
If you’re a second home owner in Pembrokeshire and would like more information on this, or how FBM Holidays can help manage you through to holiday letting, providing you with the required proof of letting which you can supply to the council, call our New Business team on 01834 844565 and ask to speak to a New Business advisor. Alternatively, you can email on [email protected].
Sources: BBC Wales / Bob Kilminster, PCC