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Proposed Changes to Council Tax

The Government announced that the way that some empty properties and second homes are treated for Council Tax purposes would change.

Until the 1 April 2013, a property that was empty and unfurnished was treated as exempt from Council Tax for a period of up to 6 months. Also, up to the 1 April 2013 a property that was empty and needed structural work to make it habitable was also treated as exempt from Council Tax for a period of 12 months.

The Government has changed the law so that these types of property are no longer exempt and that Councils can charge full Council Tax on these properties. The Council,  following consultation, has decided to charge full Council Tax on these types of empty properties from the 1 April 2013.

Also, if a property has been empty for more than two years and is substantially unfurnished, the law has been changed so that the Council can charge a "premium" of an extra 50% to the normal charge for an empty property. The Council is applying this additional 50% charge from the 1 April 2013 following consultation.

Finally, if you have a second home in the area because your main home is somewhere else, you will no longer receive a 10% discount off the amount of Council Tax that would normally be charged. There is now no discount for second homes.

The intention with all of these changes is that we should see fewer empty properties in the district which can cause problems if the fact that they are empty attracts vandalism or other anti-social behaviour.

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Proposed Changes to Council Tax