Council Tax for second and empty homes, and non-domestic rates thresholds: consultation

This joint public consultation with COSLA seeks views on giving local authorities the power to increase council tax on second homes and empty homes, as well as considering whether the current non-domestic rates thresholds for self-catering accommodation remain appropriate.

Consultation Foreword

The Scottish Government and COSLA (on behalf of Local Government) are pleased to invite you to respond to this consultation on council tax on second and empty homes. The availability of affordable housing, and its interaction with levels of second and empty homes and short-term lets is a much debated topic in Scotland, and one which affects different communities in different ways.

Our aim that everyone should have a safe, high-quality home that is affordable and meets their needs in the place they want to be is core to the Scottish Government's Housing to 2040 strategy – and this consultation seeks to explore the role of more inclusive and fiscally sustainable local taxation, in the form of council tax and non-domestic rates, as part of this commitment.

We recognise that second homes and short-term lets bring benefits to those who own them and the tourism businesses and local economy that they support. We also recognise that the reasons that homes may be left empty for long periods can be complex. It is also important that where these kinds of ownership patterns impact on the availability of homes to meet local needs and on community sustainability, that we take action to pursue a fair balance.

We are pleased to be taking forward this work in partnership, as we work to explore greater fiscal empowerment for councils in council tax, with the shared aim of creating the right incentives to increase the availability of housing.

We would like to ask for your views on potential changes to the council tax system and non-domestic rates thresholds for self-catering accommodation in order to take forward our commitments to a fairer housing and taxation system, and would encourage perspectives from the widest possible array of stakeholders from across the country.

Tom Arthur MSP - Minister for Community Wealth and Public Finance

Paul McLennan MSP - Minister for Housing

Cllr Katie Hagmann - COSLA Resource Spokesperson

The other documents in this suite can be found here;



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