SECOND home owners on Anglesey could see a further rise in Council Tax premiums if draft budget plans get the go-ahead.
The executive of Anglesey County Council approved recommendations to formally propose an increase in the premium on second homes from 50% to 75%.
Committee members also proposed an increase in Council Tax of five percent, taking the annual charge for Band D homes to £1,435.86.
The executive unanimously approved the recommendations today (Tuesday, January 24) – but the final plans for the budget still have to come before a full council meeting on March 9.
The setting of the initial budget proposal is a matter delegated to the executive.
During the meeting held in Llangefni, the executive approved the initial proposed budget for 2023/24 at £172.438 million.
Members discussed the proposals in a report prepared by Marc Jones, the council’s director of function (resources).
Commenting during the meeting Councillor Gary Pritchard said it was important that the council “struck a balance” in setting a budget which also provided services that safeguarded and protected the most vulnerable.
He added how challenging it was to set a budget, saying how much “work, discussion, scrutiny and care” went into the process.
Cllr Alun Roberts asked finance officer Mark Jones if more grant funding might be forthcoming from the Welsh Government.
Mr Jones replied that in the past years the Welsh Government had had an underspend which had been passed on to councils for use for projects or additional grant funding for revenue costs, but it was now unlikely any cash would be received.
He said: “By this time, we would usually have seen grant letters coming through but not much has come this year.
“The scope that the Welsh Government have to use any underspend has run out, we are back to the usual situation where we have to deal with costs with our own money.”
Finance portfolio holder Councillor Robin Wyn Williams, who proposed the committee accept the draft budget recommendations, said: “There is an expectation for us to raise the Council Tax by the Welsh Government so we can ensure a balanced budget.
“What we have to do is try to keep the level of Council Tax increase as little as practically possible.
If we can do anything to reduce the figures to reduce any increase proposed in the Council Tax we will do everything that we can, if the situation enables us to do so, but we will have to wait until we get the final settlement.
“We won’t get that until a few days before the full county council when it meets in March.
But if we do, we will use any additional money in the way we feel is most appropriate for the residents of Anglesey.”
At the council’s meeting on November 29, 2022, the Executive had approved the Council Tax base for the 2023/24 financial year.
The minutes of that meeting noted that the taxbase had included the assumption “that the premium for second homes would increase from 50% to 75%, reflecting an intention previously stated by the Executive to increase the premium up to 100% by April 2024”.