A Plaid Cymru councillor is calling for council tax charges on second home owners to be doubled.
The appeal by Aber Valley Councillor John Roberts follows a Freedom of Information Act request by Plaid Cymru that revealed there were 234 second homes in the county borough.
The information showed there are 23 second homes in Gelligaer with 19 in Caerphilly and 17 in Penyrheol, Trecenydd & Energlyn.
Councillor John Robert, who has six second homes in his ward, said that he believed that Caerphilly should follow the lead of Swansea, Gwynedd and Pembrokeshire council which have agreed to levy double council tax on second homes.
Councillor John Roberts said that money raised could be allocated to small projects in local communities, perhaps to housing related or work that benefits local people. Money could also be used to boost the recent Community Empowerment Fund announced by the council, possibly doubling new monies available for local community projects, he argued.
Councillor John Roberts said: “Many people may be surprised that there are 234 second homes in what is a former industrial area. The Band D council tax – many homes will be in higher bands) - is around £1,500 a year, then charging double the full council tax would raise £351,000 a year.
“That could be spread between communities in each ward. If there was a 50% council tax for second homes then it would raise £175,000. If, for instance, someone has acquired a second home because, for instance, a relative has died you could allow a six or 12 month grace period before charging the additional council tax.”
Councillor John Roberts said that he would raise the findings of the Freedom of Information request at the next Plaid group meeting with the aim of raising the issue through a notice of motion at a future council meeting. “I would hope councillors from other parties would support this.”
Where are the second homes in Caerphilly County?
Community: Aber Valley 6, Abercarn 8, Argoed 4, Bargoed 15, Bedwas, Trethomas & Machen 11, Blackwood 12, Caerphilly 19, Cefn Fforest 2. Crosskeys 8, Crumlin 7. Darran Valley 3, Draethen, Waterloo & Rudry 3, Gelligaer 23, Llanbradach & Pwllypant 6, Maesycwmmer 4, Nelson 10, New Tredegar 12, Newbridge 11, Pengam 2, Penmaen 6, Penyrheol,Trecenydd & Energlyn 17, Pontllanfraith 7. Rhymney 15, Risca West 14, Van 3, Ynysddu 6: TOTAL: 234