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Cabinet to consider call for empty properties council tax exemption

10 May 2024 2 minute read
Council tax

Bruce SinclairLocal Democracy Reporter

A call to allow council officers the ability to suspend the empty properties council tax premium for homes under renovation is to be considered by a Welsh council.

In addition to the normal council tax, which saw a 12.5 per cent increase in the county recently, second homes and empty property owners pay a premium rate.

Second home-owners in Pembrokeshire are now paying a 200 per cent premium, effectively a treble council tax level.

Owners of empty properties pay on a sliding scale in Pembrokeshire, with a 100 per cent premium after 24 months, 200 per cent after 36 months, and a whopping 300 per cent after five years.

Uninhabited

A call for an exemption for ‘empty’ properties currently being uninhabited, but in the process of being brought back to use, has been made by Merlin’s Bridge county councillor John Cole.

Cllr Cole, in his notice of motion before the May 9 meeting of Pembrokeshire County Council, asked: “With the council’s unanimous decision to increase the empty property council tax, at the last March council meeting, it would appear that even though the decision was right and proper, as empty homes serve no purpose in the community etc it would seem that a number of such properties are in fact under renovation by owners to bring back into use, as per an email received by one family in that position outlying their concerns of having such a charge on the property, putting their renovation plans and dreams in jeopardy.

“Renovation is a costly and time-consuming in many instances, and having to use funds for renovation to pay such an additional cost, as they are already liable for council tax, will lead to delays, and abandonment of renovations.

“I would like to put forward the following: That council revenue officers have the authority to exempt such properties proved to be under renovation for eventual use as a main home from the extra charges on top of the standard property charge; time frame on a case-by-case basis, in consultation with such projects undertaken.”

At the May meeting of full council, members heard the matter would be considered by the council’s Cabinet at a later date.


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