Legislation to remove the automatic council tax discount for second homes has been laid in Parliament, paving the way for further reforms due to take effect from April 2017.
This change will give councils the option of offering no discount for second homes, arming them with another lever to encourage better use of housing stock in their areas. If all councils were to remove discounts they could generate up to £3 million of additional revenue across the country.
Finance Secretary Derek Mackay said: “Giving everyone access to a good quality, affordable home is a priority for this Government. And part of that is making sure we use all the housing we currently have.
“The change to council tax on second homes will give local authorities an additional tool to support housing markets within their area, particularly if they have a problem where second homes are lying empty. It could also generate up to £3 million for councils to invest in their local public services.”