WEST NORFOLK: Tax rise for second and empty home owners

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Owners of second homes in West Norfolk could see their council tax bills rise under proposed new changes to the system.

West Norfolk Council is looking to increase its income by charging second home owners more tax.

The council is also looking at the discounts offered to empty homes to bring them back into use.

Council leader Nick Daubney says the reforms will make a fairer scheme.

Mr Daubney said: “West Norfolk is affected more than other councils as we have so many second homes.

“Services still need to be provided to second homes and of course money needs to be spent to keep the communities thriving.

“Second home owners are welcome as they bring tourism and business to the borough.

“But they also bring their challenges.”

The proposals will be discussed by cabinet members on Tuesday next week and could take effect from April.

An agreement has been reached with Norfolk County Council to keep the extra income.

Second homes without an occupancy restriction could be paying 95 per cent of the council tax bill.

The cabinet is recommended to change the current reduction from 10 per cent to five percent.

The proposal affects 2,879 properties in West Norfolk.

The cabinet is also looking to reduce the 50 per cent discount offered to second homes with an occupancy restriction from 50 per cent to five per cent.

This will affect 332 properties, which tend to be small chalets in flood risk areas.

Owners of empty homes will lose the 100 per cent discount after three months after it was vacated. Long-term empty properties will be charged 50 per cent of the bill for a year.

why is the council looking at reforming the tax system?

West Norfolk Council wants to raise more revenue and bring empty properties back into use.

how many properties will be affected by the reforms?

A total of 5,122 second homes and empty properties will be affected by the changes.

what will be the Effect of the tax increases?

The council will collect an extra £127,758.

what are the new bills?
Second home owners currently pay £1,044 but this will go up to £1,102. Empty property owners will pay £1,160 instead of £580.