Second home-owners could soon pay a treble council tax rate if a recommendation before councillors is backed next week.

New local tax rules introduced by Welsh Government earlier this year saw local authorities being able to set and collect council tax premiums on second homes and long-term empty properties at up to 300 per cent.

Pembrokeshire is currently operating a 100 per cent council tax premium for second homes, effectively a double rate.

A premium for long term empty properties in the county was introduced in 2019 for properties that have been empty for three years or more.

Members of the county council’s Cabinet, meeting on December 4, backed a 200 per cent premium for second homes; empty properties facing a 50 per cent premium for those empty for two years, increasing to 200 per cent for those empty longer for three years or more.

Cabinet backing took the form of a recommendation to the full council meeting of December 14, where a final decision will be made.

Councillors are recommended to approve the figures backed by Cabinet.

At the December 4 meeting, Cabinet Member for Corporate Finance Cllr Alec Cormack told members that, without the increase in second homes tax, the annual council tax bill for full-time residents, at a time of unprecedented financial challenges, was likely to see a percentage increase “probably well into double figures,” later citing a figure of a possible 22 per cent increase.

A public consultation on any potential premium changes, ranging from 0 to 300 per cent, was launched by Pembrokeshire County Council earlier this year.

Of those respondents that did not have a second/holiday home or empty property, 36 per cent wanted a reduction, 21 per cent favoured no change, and 38 per cent favoured an increase.