Issue - meetings

Council Tax Empty Property Charges

Meeting: 16/12/2020 - Council (Item 36)

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To consider the attached report of the Cabinet Member for Corporate Delivery / Chief Finance Officer.

Minutes:

The Council considered a report which sought approval of an increase in the council tax empty property premium from 200% to 300% with effect from 1 April 2021 for properties that have been empty in excess of 10 years.

 

Resolved:

1.    That the council tax empty property premium increase from 200% to 300% with effect from 1 April 2021 for properties that have been empty in excess of 10 years be approved;

2.    That Council Tax exemptions, or some form of relief, for domestic accommodations that are attached to commercial premises, such as pubs and shops, which had become empty because they have had to close because of the adverse effects of Covid-19 be approved.

 


Meeting: 01/12/2020 - Cabinet (Item 71)

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To consider the attached report of the Cabinet Member for Corporate Delivery / Chief Finance Officer.

Minutes:

The Cabinet considered the report of the Chief Finance Officer that was seeking approval to increase the council tax empty property premium from 200% to 300% with effect from 1st April 2021 for properties that have been empty in excess of 10 years.

 

In considering the submitted report, Members of Cabinet were informed that the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee on 24th November 2020, had requested that Cabinet give consideration to providing Council Tax exemptions, or some form of relief for domestic accommodations that are attached to commercial premises, such as pubs and shops, which had become empty because they have had to close because of the adverse effects of Covid-19.

 

Alternatives considered:

 

The empty property premium could remain at 200%. However, Government has identified that additional measures are needed to continue the improvements already made and have amended the legislation. 

 

Resolved:

 

1.    That Council be informed that Cabinet recommends the following:

a)    That the proposal to increase the council tax empty property premium from 200% to 300% with effect from 1 April 2021 for properties that have been empty in excess of 10 years be approved;

b)    That the request of the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee relating to  providing Council Tax exemptions, or some form of relief, for domestic accommodations that are attached to commercial premises, such as pubs and shops, which had become empty because they have had to close because of the adverse effects of Covid-19 be approved.

 

Reasons for the decision:

 

In April 2013, Government gave local authorities power to determine the level of empty property discounts in dwelling classes B, C and D (Section 12 of the Local Government Finance Act 2012). The power included an option to charge a premium of up to 50% where a property has been empty in excess of two years. The Council decided to introduce a 50% premium with effect from 1 April 2013 and increased this to 100% with effect from 1 April 2019.

 

From 1 April 2020, Government increased the optional maximum empty property premium charge to 200% for properties that have been empty in excess of 5 years.  The Council decided to introduce this 200% premium with effect from 1 April 2020. 

 

From 1 April 2021, Government is increasing the optional maximum empty property premium charge to 300% for properties that have been empty in excess of 10 years.

 

The Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee on 24th November 2020, had requested that Cabinet give consideration to providing Council Tax exemptions, or some form of relief for domestic accommodations that are attached to commercial premises, such as pubs and shops, which had become empty because they have had to close because of the adverse effects of Covid-19.


Meeting: 24/11/2020 - Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee (Item 35)

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Proposed Council Tax charges for empty properties in the Borough.

Minutes:

The Committee scrutinised a report of the Chief Finance Officer that was seeking approval from the Cabinet, on 1st December 2020, to increase the council tax empty property premium from 200% to 300% with effect from 1st April 2021 for properties that have been empty in excess of 10 years. Members were advised that in 2013, there were 552 properties across the Borough which were subject to the empty property premium charge; this has reduced by 202 to 350 by November 2020, 46 of which have been empty in excess of 10 years.

 

In considering the report members sought clarification of the level of capital programme funding available to address empty properties and action which was presently happening around empty properties in terms of loans and other forms of investment. It was reported that there was funding available for targeted work on some of the worst properties.

 

Members of the Committee asked that the Cabinet give consideration to authorising officers to look at ways, if possible, of purchasing empty properties across the borough, especially properties that have been empty in the long-term and that officer’s look at working with external providers.

 

Members of the Committee requested that Cabinet give consideration to providing Council Tax exemptions, or some form of relief for domestic accommodations that are attached to commercial premises, such as pubs and shops, which had become empty because they have had to close because of the adverse effects of Covid-19.

 

Resolved:
1. That the report be noted

2. That the Cabinet be requested to give consideration to authorising officers to examine ways of purchasing empty properties across the borough, especially properties that have been empty in the long-term and also in this regard that officers look at working, if appropriate, with external providers.

3. The Cabinet be requested to give consideration to providing Council Tax exemptions, or some form of relief, for domestic accommodations that are attached to commercial premises, such as pubs and shops, which had become empty because they have had to close because of the adverse effects of Covid-19.