Plymouth City Council
Plymouth PL1 2AA
Changes to Council Tax exemptions and discounts
Residents and property developers who own second homes or properties that are vacant or in need of major repair will see changes to Council Tax exemptions and discounts from April.
As part of the Welfare Reform Agenda the Government is removing £2.6m of support for Plymouth residents, leading to concerns about the impact on vulnerable communities and increased pressure on Council services.
To help reduce the impact on services, the Cabinet has agreed to reduce Council tax exemptions from residents that are considered more able to pay. This will help ensure a fairer and more appropriate benefit entitlement.
The Cabinet has agreed to:
- Remove the current 10 per cent discount on second homes and charge the full Council Tax. A second home is a property that is unoccupied but remains furnished.
- Charge 50 per cent Council Tax for properties undergoing major repair for as long as the property remains in that state up to the maximum period of one year.
- Reduce the 100 per cent exemption on empty and unfurnished properties from six months to one month. This is thought to help minimise the time these properties remain empty.
- Charge a 50 per cent premium on homes that have been empty for more than two years, taking the total Council Tax due to 150 per cent.
During 2011 Plymouth had 2,483 properties classed as second homes and awarded exemptions to 439 empty properties in need of major repair and 10,128 empty homes. A total of 708 properties were classed as being empty for over two years during this period.
Cabinet Member for Finance, Councillor Mark Lowry said: "There are many changes coming our way which are being driven by Government budget cuts. We need to look at the big picture here and make sure we are not allowing the most vulnerable people in our city bear the brunt of the cuts. It’s never an easy decision to make but it’s only right those who can afford a second property pay their full share of Council Tax."
It is estimated the changes provide £1 million to help relieve the overall Council Tax burden on the city.
4 February 2013