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Isle of Wight to slap council tax on holiday homes rented out under 70 days

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The Isle of Wight Council has vowed to charge owners of second homes and empty properties more council tax as soon as it gets the go-ahead from the government.

Its ruling Alliance Administration had suggested putting a 100% tax premium on second homes and empty properties, however councillors agreed to delay a decision on the amount until the council was given more powers.

The government has promised that from next year, councils in England will be able to double the standard council tax rate on any home left empty for longer than a year, rather than the current two years. 

Rented out

In England, second homes will need to be rented out for a minimum of 70 days per year to access small business rate relief, rather than paying council tax from next month. 

At a full council meeting, Conservative leader councillor Joe Robertson (main picture) said that the rationale behind the 100% figure had not been set out and needed to be backed by evidence, analysis and data, reports the Island Echo website.

Cabinet member for strategic finances, councillor Chris Jarman, said it had been included after the council's finance officer suggested the authority should maximise its revenue at every opportunity, saying that it sent a strong signal to property owners of its intent to bring the charges in at the earliest opportunity, so that they did not risk missing out on a substantial amount of income.

Councillor Julie Jones-Evans questioned why the authority should not make the most out of second homeowners, especially after the authority charged Islanders the most it could in a council tax increase this year.

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