The second holiday home crisis has caused an outcry among residents of popular tourist spots across the UK. Wales is introducing new rules which have been branded as an ‘un-English’ tax.
Cardiff is set to introduce a new threshold of 182 days per year, which means there will be a premium tax for those not resident in the area for several months of the year.
Owners of second homes could be hit with a housing tax bill of up to 300% more.
Chairman Ashford Price, who called the move “un-English”, believes it will cause significant economic damage.
Many agreed with his comments as the new tax was called “total madness” and “myopic”.
One holidaymaker said: “I holiday in Wales three times a year but due to rising fuel costs etc it will only be once this year.
“If another tax has to be paid just to have a holiday in Wales, it will stop altogether.”
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Many claimed they would not return to Wales if forced to pay a bounty.
Others took to Facebook to express their disgust.
Charlie Jones said: “Let’s see what happens when all these properties flood the market causing property prices to plummet, which is what these policies are trying to achieve.
“Making housing more affordable through increased supply might not be so popular when homeowners find themselves with negative equity or losing 30% more of their home’s value!”
However, Letty Macko said: “We’re not anti-English, we’re not anti-tourist but anti-destruction of our beautiful country – if you can’t respect the area don’t come.
“I am not against these taxes, I welcome them with a huge hug because the neighborhood is overwhelmed to the point that it is no longer pleasant to visit certain neighborhoods.”
She continued, “The places we spent our childhoods growing up, the places we live in are unbearable.
“When residents have to leave their homes because of the influx of tourists, there is a problem.”
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Jonathan F Dean said: “The new regulations are quite simple, if you claim to be a rental business you must be at least 50% rented.
“Businesses thrive on performance goals and I’m sure real businesses will rise to the challenge.”
Some believe the tax would give British and Scottish tourism an advantage over Wales.
Ashford continued that some Welsh business owners will have “no choice” but to close their doors if the new regulations are put in place.
Failure to meet the 182 days per year threshold can mean vacation rental business owners face a council tax premium of up to 300%.
The National Showcaves Center for Wales in Dan Yr Ogof, Brecon Beacons, is one such business.
It currently has 20 self-contained units, but the proposed rule has meant it has dropped plans to build 10 more luxury units.
Instead, the National Showcaves Center will move that part of the business to England.
A survey of over 1,500 businesses by the Wales Tourism Alliance (WTA) found that 84% of B&B operators fear they will not be able to continue with new rentals.
The WTA, along with UK Hospitality Cymru (UKHC) and the Professional Association of Self Caterers UK (PASC UK), have called for an overhaul.
They argued that this tool would do little to make homes more affordable for locals, and a lot to make the tourism sector struggling.
“As a tool to bring properties back to an affordable market for local people, it won’t work.
“On the contrary, it will reduce the ability of local homeowners to earn an income and lead to fewer side jobs in hospitality, retail, home maintenance and cleaning.”
They suggested this could damage the cultural integrity of the country, as it would not protect the Welsh language.
They predicted these businesses will be lost to wealthier foreigners who are prepared to face the higher costs of a second home or self-employed businesses in Wales.