Ryedale Council Tax payers picking up the tab for Airbnb hosts - Yorkshire Post Letters

From: Coun Simon Thackray, Member for the Sinnington ward at Ryedale District Council, Malton, North Yorkshire.

Hutton-le-Hole a very small village in the Ryedale district of North Yorkshire, about seven miles north-west of Pickering. Picture: James Hardisty.
Hutton-le-Hole a very small village in the Ryedale district of North Yorkshire, about seven miles north-west of Pickering. Picture: James Hardisty.

Holiday lets and Airbnbs, and Ryedale’s planning policies, are destroying our small village communities and sapping the district of cash to pay for local services.

Ryedale’s oxymoronic Local Needs Occupancy Condition, thankfully under review, is blocking the building of new homes for local people whilst the council is systematically waving-through approvals for more and more holiday lets. The situation is perverse.

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When an officer of the council was asked recently for his opinion on the impact of holiday lets on the availability

of homes for local people, he gave a one word answer: “MASSIVE”.

If you don’t know the way the system works financially, my guess is that you, like me, imagine that our council charges a holiday let owner council tax, and maybe that the level of council tax payable is, say, two, or possibly three times the standard council tax rate to compensate for the loss of residential housing and payment of services?

Think again.

The answer is, that whilst the council is actively blocking unfettered homes being built for ordinary people in our small villages (for families to live in), it charges the holiday cottage

and Airbnb owners no council tax whatsoever: Zero, Nada, Nowt.

Holiday lets and Airbnbs [which operate over 140 days] are classed as businesses and in the vast majority of cases the rate payable is zero, meaning Ryedale’s other council tax payers are unwittingly picking up the tab for local services.

Meanwhile, the council has been asked to identify the holiday lets and Airbnbs whose refuse bins it empties.

Who pays for the refuse collection service (that we receive for paying our council tax) when no council tax is being paid?

Whilst we await the answers the tip of an iceberg is coming into view.

Ryedale District Council will very soon provide our holiday let and Airbnb businesses (all 694 of them) with a tariff for Ryedale District Council trade waste collection which, hopefully, will generate new business and income for the council to pay for local services.

All being well, we will see new, brightly coloured, Ryedale Trade Waste bins in our towns and villages very soon.