People with second homes could have to pay a new tax to combat the negative impact they have on local communities.
The Lyons Review has been asked to consider the proposal
There is growing concern in Devon and Cornwall about the number of areas which have become virtual ghost towns outside the holiday season.
The tax has been suggested by the Commission for Rural Communities (CRC).
Figures from the 2001 Census showed there were 38,000 second homes in the region, which in some communities made up about 70% of the housing stock.
The CRC said the tax would be a completely separate source of local revenue which would be targeted at areas "where levels of second-home ownership have a negative impact on the local economy."
The commission said it had welcomed the government's decision to allow local authorities to reduce the amount of council tax discount on second homes, but it had largely failed to address the impact on rural communities.
The CRC has suggested the Lyons review, which is currently inquiring into funding for local government, considers its proposal.