Thursday, 4 October 2012

Long term empty homes to be taxed 150% council tax

More detail on the BBC story this week on council tax changes - Camden aims to remove the second home discount of 10% and put council tax up to 150% for long term empty properties.

As reported in the Ham+High, Camden is preparing to use new powers which will give the Council discretion to increase the amount of council tax due from owners of second homes and empty homes.  It is anticipated that the Local Government Finance Act 2012 will introduce new legislation giving Councils flexibility to determine the amount of council tax they can charge as part of the localism agenda.  Camden Council’s Cabinet are expected to consider proposals in December once the Bill completes passage through the Commons..

There are 103,600 residential properties in Camden. Most of these are occupied by the residents as their main home. However, 1 in 16 is not lived in on a full time basis and it is these 6,473 homes that Camden is keen to see either put quickly back in to use or taxed appropriately.

Camden has a severe shortage of housing yet every year thousands of properties are left vacant by private landlords and those privileged enough to own more than one home. We will use our new powers to make sure that owners of empty properties are encouraged to make them available to the housing market more quickly and to tax those who leave them empty.

Our measure is both necessary and fair and we look forward to the prospect of new powers to end to what is effectively a tax subsidy for wealthy property owners.

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