Owners of second homes in Shropshire could see their council tax double under plans to be discussed by Shropshire Council.

The changes, recommended for approval at a meeting of full council this week (December 14) could take effect from 2025, under new legislation which gives local authorities the power to increase the amount of tax applied to second homes.

Shropshire Council says the move could bring more properties back into use as main homes, and generate an extra £2m in revenue for the cash-strapped local authority.

Government legislation passed in October 2023 enables local authorities to introduce a council tax premium of up to 100% in respect of second homes, but says they must pass a resolution at least 12 months prior to the start of the financial year where changes would come into effect.

“I’m pleased that following the passing of the government legislation that 100% increase can be levied on second homes to help the finances of the council from April 2025, but also to hopefully bring more properties back into use as main residences and increase the supply for both rental and purchase properties,” finance member Gwilym Butler told Shropshire Council’s cabinet.

“Let me make it clear that this is by no means an attack on the tourist industry and people who run holiday lets, with tourism being vital to this county, but for those who try and hide their second homes as commercial full-time holiday lets without paying appropriately and contributing to the economy and also the council.”

Second homes in the county already pay full council tax, a previous 10% discount having been abolished by the authority in 2012, and around 1,500 properties in Shropshire are currently registered as second homes.

A vote to introduce a 100% levy on second homes is also taking place this week at Ceredigion County Council, while a similar scheme introduced in Gwynedd last year has coincided with a fall in the number of properties registered as second homes in the county.

Other proposed tweaks to the authority’s council tax base include changes to the criteria for long term empty properties.

Currently, properties which have been empty for more than two years attract a 100% premium on their council tax rates, which could now been widened by 12 months to include properties which have been empty for more than a year.

Members will be asked to approve the changes at a full council meeting on December 14.