Changes to Council Tax Discounts and Exemptions

From 1 April 2013 changes to a number of Council Tax discounts and exemptions will take effect. These changes follow amendments to legislation the Government has made in a bid to bring more empty properties back into use.

The changes agreed by Council are:-

• Exemption for unoccupied and unfurnished properties for a maximum of 6 months is replaced by a 100% discount for a maximum of 3 months
• Exemption for uninhabitable properties for a maximum of 12 months is replaced by a 100% discount for the same period
• 10% discount for furnished properties which are not a main home will no longer apply
• 50% discount for unoccupied and unfurnished properties (which followed the exemptions mentioned above and certain others) will no longer apply

The Government has also made provision for a premium to be charged if a property is empty for more than 2 years, with exemptions for properties that are left empty by service personnel posted away from home, and annexes that are being used as part of a main property.

From 1 April 2013 a 50% premium will be charged, in addition to the full Council Tax, in respect of relevant empty properties.

The Revenues Service is writing to all customers affected by these changes and including applications for exemptions where a premium may become due from 1 April.

Letters will be sent in batches over the next 3 weeks.

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