Decision details

Council Tax on Empty Properties

Decision Maker: Cabinet

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: No


Councillor Eamonn O’Brien, the Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Finance and Growth, presented the report seeking approval to consult on a proposal to remove the Council Tax discount given to empty properties and the second homes discount with effect from 1 April 2022.


Members discussed the report, noting that home buyers were not being discouraged or penalised, but the Council had to prioritise where it spent budgets and, although flexibility would be retained, it couldn’t necessarily offer this discount in the same way. It was noted that a higher tax rate was charged for long-term absences and this was not proposed to change.


In response to Members’ questions it was noted that the consultation would be targeted to those who would be affected most, including letters to homes receiving the discount and an article in the VCFA newsletter to engage groups offering support to vulnerable people.




1.   Agreed that a public consultation commences on 22nd November 2021 to 3rd January 2022 to seek the views of the public on this proposal; and

2.   Noted that the outcome to this consultation would be reported to Cabinet in January 2022.


Reasons for the decision:

In April 2013, Government gave local authorities power to determine the level of empty property discounts in dwelling classes B, C and D (Section 12 of the Local Government Finance Act 2012).


Other options considered and rejected:

The Empty Property Council Tax Discount Scheme could remain at 100% for the 1st Month, 25% for months 2-6. Properties undergoing major refurbishment could continue to attract a discount of 50% on its council tax for a period of 1 year.

Publication date: 18/11/2021

Date of decision: 17/11/2021

Decided at meeting: 17/11/2021 - Cabinet

Accompanying Documents: