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Council tax premium proposed on empty homes

Published: 08/02/2016

Flintshire County Council will review the proposal to introduce a council tax premium on long-term empty and second homes from April 2017. The introduction of the Housing (Wales) Act 2014 now gives local authorities in Wales the discretion to charge up to a 100% council tax premium on long term empty properties and properties with a second homes/holiday homes. The Council can charge a premium on these properties at any rate between 0% and 100%. However, the Council must decide to introduce a premium and, if so, how much, 12 months in advance of the premium taking effect. The Council has, for many years, adopted a policy of not providing a council tax discount on long term empty homes or second homes. The introduction of a premium on top of the council tax will help to address local housing need by encouraging owners of empty and second homes properties to bring those properties back into full use. Leader of the Council, Cllr Aaron Shotton, said, “In the current economic climate, the Council needs to find as many opportunities to increase income as possible in order to protect our services from austerity. It is also important that the Council does all it can to ensure that as many of the over 800 empty properties in our County are brought back into use. The council offers empty property owners a variety of ways to help them get their properties back into full use, including loans and grant schemes. We are proposing a 50% premium for the first year. For more information on ways to help, please see the housing section on the Flintshire website