Plaid Cymru councillor John Roberts has submitted a notice of motion calling on Caerphilly County Borough Council to back his demand for council tax bills on second home owners to be doubled.
The motion by the Aber Valley councillor says the money raised from the additional tax could be spent on small local community projects in wards across the borough.
Councillor John Roberts submitted his motion after a Freedom of Information Act response revealed that there were 234 second homes in the county borough. He has been told that the motion will be considered by councillors next month.
Councillor John Roberts, who has six second homes in his ward, said: “The impact of second homes on communities in Wales was recognised this week by the Welsh Labour Government which is pledging to tackle the issue.
“The Climate Change Minister also launched a consultation which could see changes to planning, taxation and tourism systems. But we in Caerphilly don’t need to wait for something to happen years down the line, we can take action now.
“While the number of second homes in the Caerphilly County is lower than many coastal areas, in my view they do contribute to rising house prices and make it more difficult for local people to acquire their own homes. There are a lot of little villages around the borough where local people would like to live so it is important they don’t become rich pickings for second home owners in the long-term.
“My motion – if passed – would also allow a grace period of 12 months if an individual has been left a second home by the passing of a relative or close friend.
“Investing money raised by the tax in small projects in local communities would provide a tangible benefit that people will be able to see at first hand. Money could also be used to boost the recent Community Empowerment Fund announced by the council.
“Given the widespread anxiety across Wales, I’m hoping that all political groups in the council will support this motion, particularly given concerns expressed by lots of local communities and now the Welsh Government.”
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