Wrexham Council have voted to increase the special council tax charge that owners of second homes and long-term empty properties pay.

At a full council meeting (Wednesday, September 27), leader and lead member for finance, Esclusham Cllr Mark Pritchard (Ind) brought forward a report recommending the authority increases the premium on long term empty properties next year from 50 per cent to 100 per cent.

The reports also explained that properties which have been empty for more than four years would be subject to a further premium of 50 per cent, so would have a 150 per cent premium.

The aim of the proposals is to help reduce the number of long-term empty properties which exist in the borough. The report stated that the increase in premium may act as a further reason why they would seek to sell or let the property to avoid paying a premium on the property.

There are also exemptions which include properties for sale or let, or properties subject to planning conditions, job related dwellings, if these applied then the property would not be subject to the premium.

The report also says that in the event of hardship, this could be considered by the Head of Service & Chief Officer Finance and ICT under S13A of the Local Government Finance Act 1992.

Read more: Tax on empty properties in Wrexham to increase by 50 per cent

Recommendation was: “That Council agrees to increase the level of premium on Long Term Empty Properties from 1 April 2024 from 50% to 100%. Properties which have been empty for over 4 years will be subject to a further premium ofm50%, so would have a 150% premium.

“The premium should also increase from 1 April 2025, by a further 50%, so from 1 April 2025, this would increase to 200% and a further 50% should the property be empty for 4 years.”

The council voted for the increase the amount of premium charged, which would be effective from April 1, 2024.