#AceScotsmanNews – MSP’s back controversial ‘ Second Homes Charge ‘ but calls for a number of exemptions to it – @AceNewsServices

#AceScotsmansReport – Feb.12: MSPs back second home charge plan_88226072_thinkstockphotos-493955541.jpgAn extra charge for buy-to-let properties and second homes is supported by a committee of MSPs.

Holyrood’s Finance Committee backed a new supplement of 3% of the total price of properties over £40,000.

But it has called for a number of exemptions to the charge, and for its impact to be closely monitored to ensure it is fair.

The supplement was announced Finance Secretary John Swinney as he unveiled his draft budget.
Mr Swinney said the aim was to ensure opportunities for first-time buyers “are as strong as they possibly can be“.

Unintended consequences

Mr Swinney’s move followed a similar decision by Chancellor George Osborne in November’s UK Autumn Statement.

The supplement will be paid on top of the existing Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT), which replaced UK stamp duty last April.

The committee said the charge should be reviewed after its introduction to ensure it did not have any unintended consequences.
■ Extra 3% levy for buying second homes
■ Where can I afford to live?

Members had heard warnings that the supplement could push up rents in the private sector as the additional cost is passed on to tenants.

They also heard evidence that the supplement, to be paid on top of the new land and buildings transaction tax (LBTT), could deter investors, exacerbate property shortages and disadvantage first-time buyers.

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