Second home-owners in Pembrokeshire, in addition to paying a higher council tax, have lowered local residents’ police tax bills, a council committee heard.

The police precept for each non-second-home Band D property would increase by nearly £6 without a second homes premium in Pembrokeshire, members of the council’s Governance and Audit Committee heard this week.

The 100 per cent second homes premium in Pembrokeshire is also used for payment of the police precept aspect of the overall bill.

A Notice of Motion (NoM) on the police precept aspect of the overall council tax bill for second homes and empty properties was submitted by Councillor Mark Carter, calling for an examination of the “correctness and legality” of the council collecting a premium rate on the police precept.

He calculated that amounted to an additional £1.268m being handed to police.

He added: “I would also request that the committee investigates how Dyfed Powys Police spends this extra money, how this sum of money mitigates the effects of second and empty homes in this county and benefits its residents.”

A report for members said said the additional revenue was not handed over to Dyfed-Powys Police.

It stated: “Whilst the introduction of the premiums does not increase the overall funding for Dyfed-Powys Police, it does change the proportion of their costs that Pembrokeshire is expected to fund.”

Put simply, this means the police precept for a non-second-home Band D property would increase from £290.16 to £296.12 without a second homes tax.

Members voted to not adopt Cllr Carter’s motion after the receipt of the clarifying information.

Cllr Carter, speaking after the meeting said: “I would accept what the findings of the Audit Committee; I do, however, believe that it took a lot of digging to get at a conclusion and it appears to be a topic which is shrouded in mystery and misunderstanding by both officers and members.”

Council tax base changes due to any premiums or changes in the other three billing authorities [Ceredigion, Carmarthenshire and Powys] have an impact on the precept due from Pembrokeshire to Dyfed-Powys.

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