‘We should be one of the councils leading on it’ - Cromer aims to claw back second homes council tax to improve services

Cromer Town Council offices at North Lodge Park. Picture: David Bale

Cromer Town Council offices at North Lodge Park. Picture: David Bale - Credit: Archant

Thousands of pounds paid in second homes council tax could be clawed back to support services in coastal communities.

Second homeowners currently pay a discount of 5pc on their council tax, but this money does not go to town and parish councils.

Cromer Town Council wants to reclaim 5pc of the 45pc uplift on discounted second homes council tax. Second homeowners previously only paid 50pc of their council tax, but this was changed to 95pc by North Norfolk District Council.

There are more than 430 second homes in Cromer and the town council passed a motion on Wednesday, October 25 calling for legislative change to enable better funding for services provided to permanent residents in areas with a high proportion of second and holiday homes.

The motion states, 'This problem is heavily impacting on a number of towns and parishes. Taxpayers in these areas pay second homes council tax or, for holiday homes, pay business rates on their properties.

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'However, these funds are then lost, following payment either in to the much larger collection fund for the district/county, in the case of second homes council tax or, worse, in to the non-domestic rates funding pool for holiday homes.

'This is unfair for these communities which require some of this funding to meet the particular demands of those living in these areas, who are often left isolated and without community transport or facilities.

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'This proposal is to examine the extent to which measures to improve funding could improve the economic, social and environmental well-being of these communities.'

Town councillor Phil Harris proposed the motion at the meeting, and said: 'The idea is to look at the money collected as council tax, and for that money to go back to where it was collected. At the moment there's no guarantee it will go back to that area. The government is looking at this and we should be one of the councils leading on it.'

The motion, which could benefit similar communities across the country, has now been sent to the Department of Communities and Local Government.

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