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Last Updated: Wednesday, 14 January, 2004, 12:30 GMT
Row over second homes windfall
Homes
Second home owners across the region face council tax rises
A row over council tax cash from second homes has deepened in Cornwall.

The district councils are increasing the money raised in this way by reducing the discount for second home owners from 50% to 10%.

This is expected to raise a total of 10m over five years across Devon and Cornwall, where there are more than 23,500 second homes.

Cornwall County Council has attempted to cut a deal with the six district councils, offering them about 75% of the extra cash to build desperately-needed affordable new homes, with the remainder going into county coffers.

There is no defence for people who purchase second homes in Devon who then only use it a few times a year whilst for the rest of the time it remains empty when there are young families desperate to buy their own home
Helen, Devon

But the leader of Caradon District Council, Andrew Crawford, believes all the extra revenue should go to the district councils to help provide more affordable housing.

"Providing affordable housing is a priority," he said.

"It is a problem and we want every penny we can get to carry out our priorities."

Devon County Council has warned its district councils that money is tight and that it is unlikely it will release all of the extra money raised for affordable housing.

More than 11,000 properties across Devon are second homes, representing about 3.5% of available housing, according to estimates.

West Devon Borough Council is expected to decide on 20 January if second home-owners should pay more council tax.

The borough has about 320 second homes that will generate an income of about 139,000.

Torbay, South Hams, Plymouth, North Devon, East Devon and Teignbridge have already decided to cut the discount.




SEE ALSO:
Council cuts tax discount
23 Dec 03  |  Devon
Warning over council tax rise
20 Nov 03  |  Devon
Tax rise for second homes
06 Nov 03  |  Devon
Anger grows over second homes
27 Oct 03  |  Cornwall


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