Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: UK: Scotland
Front Page 
World 
UK 
Northern Ireland 
Scotland 
Wales 
UK Politics 
Business 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Education 
Sport 
Entertainment 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
AudioVideo 


BBC Scotland's Craig Anderson
"Councillors in the Highlands have called on the government to change the law"
 real 28k

Thursday, 16 December, 1999, 19:06 GMT
Double tax for holiday home owners

Holiday home Holiday homes in the Highlands will cost their owners more in council tax


Councillors in the Highlands have voted overwhelmingly to double council tax on holiday homes in the area.

At present, the 6,000 or so second homes qualify for a 50% rebate on the annual rates.

But following a debate by Highland Council on Thursday it was agreed that such home owners may be forced to pay the full rate which applies to the rest of the 90,000 property dwellers in the area.

The UK Government will have the final say over whether the council can have its way and increase bills.

There was no opposition to a rise in the tax but the matter was forced to a vote by the chairman of the council's land use committee, Michael Foxley, who wanted holiday home owners to be charged 50% more than anyone else.

Council convener David Green denied the authority was taking a Scrooge-like attitude to second house owners.

'Equal system'

He said it was simply about equitable taxation for all.

When the council tax system was introduced in the early 1990s the then Tory government decided to offer a 50% rate reduction for Scotland's second home owners.

For many years that system has frustrated many Scottish local authorities, including the Highlands, where holiday home ownership has been blamed for pushing up house prices and keeping local people out of affordable accommodation.

In the Highland Council area alone more than 6,000 properties have been covered by the concession at a cost of 2.3m per year to the authority.

In contrast, Welsh local authorities have the discretion whether or not to offer rebates.

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
BBC RADIO NEWS
BBC ONE TV NEWS
WORLD NEWS SUMMARY
PROGRAMMES GUIDE

See also:
15 Dec 99 |  Scotland
Council tax system set for overhaul

Internet links:

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites
Links to other Scotland stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Scotland stories