Pickles to allow second home council tax discount cut

 
Terraced houses Councils will also be encouraged to offer discounts to householders who pay their bills online

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Owners of second homes in England could lose council tax discounts, under plans due to be announced by Communities Secretary Eric Pickles later.

Councils would have the power to reduce or remove council tax relief on second homes and empty homes. Second homes currently receive up to 50% discount.

The money would be used to keep overall council tax bills down, he is to say.

Mr Pickles will also announce a review of rules under which "granny flats" are treated as separate properties.

The communities secretary, who is due to announce a consultation on the plans, said he wanted to help "everyday families" with living costs.

He is expected to stress there are no plans to change the rules on council tax relief available for "special circumstances", such as homes left empty after a person has moved into a hospital or care home, or has died.

The communities secretary is also due to announce a review of rules under which tax inspectors treat self-contained annexes to family homes as distinct properties. The move would mean families who house a relative in an annex would no longer pay two bills.

'Protect family homes'

Councils will also be encouraged to offer discounts to householders who pay their bills online.

At present, discounts on second homes and empty properties range from 10% to 50% and can be worth hundreds of pounds a year.

The government said the reforms would allow for a £20 reduction in the annual bill for a typical Band D property in England. The current average for a Band D property is £1,196.

Mr Pickles said: "Under Labour, council tax went through the roof.

"This government has scrapped Labour's council tax revaluation and is helping (to) freeze council tax for two years.

"I want to do more to help everyday families with their cost of living, and protect family homes from tax increases.

"By removing the subsidised tax breaks for empty homes and second homes, we can cut £20 a year off families' council tax bills by treating everyone equally and fairly."

 

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  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 641.

    I hope companies and banks, are also liable to pay council tax with these measures, as they will force all this empty property to be rented, sold or otherwise lived in. This makes better use of the housing stock.

    Also, people should be able to claim housing benefit at a reduced rate, if they live with close family. This would be fiscally neutral, as well as making better use of housing stock.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 640.

    636.jamesl100
    "Also make revaluation based on the sale price which would put properties into their proper bands"
    ************
    What relevance has the value of a property got to do with how much Loc.tax you pay ?
    Do you pay income tax this way, no because it would be stupid.
    As charges are so high now, the burdon should be faily spread across society & quit this blinkered view.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 639.

    624

    Your alternative?

    Yes, LIT is fairer, but much more expensive to collect.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 638.

    Good. Maybe then those of us who were driven out of our home towns and still can't afford places of our own can finally get a place to call home.

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 637.

    Life is not fair, but to allow the well-off to cash in on rent whilst getting a discount on council tax is obscene.Many people are sharing very cramped accommodation or are on friends sofas, whilst other property is sitting empty,and getting a discount for doing so.The time for market forces to dictate anything are long gone. A lead must be taken to ensure the drivers of the economy have a home.

  • rate this
    +5

    Comment number 636.

    If there is a 25% discount for single occupiers then surely there should be 25% extra for large adult families? That would lower the extortionate bills more than £20!

    Also make revaluation based on the sale price which would put properties into their proper bands and might stop house prices rising so much!

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 635.

    I don't see why second homes should get a discount. Surely the fact that someone can afford a second home suggests they have the means to pay

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 634.

    632

    Youre on the wrong thread for that particular rant. The outrage for benefit claimants postings closed yolks ago I believe. Scrounging is either legalised through tax avoidance for the better off or takes the form of benefit cheats so in comparing one to the other, the only difference is the law but morally that's another issue.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 633.

    Holiday homes have pushed up prices in holiday areas, so that young locals cannot afford them. I recently read that holiday makers are now thinking twice going Devon and Cornwall because the cost of a return trip by car can be as much as £250 or more depending were you come from, if Holiday homes are put back on the market and folk dont travel long trips.local will have no money to buy homes.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 632.

    Hmm so someone who has a holiday home they only use a few weeks of the year pays full council tax on that and their main property, despite only using one property at any time.

    Someone who has one property, 6 kids, and doesn't work, creates 6 times the burden on council funded utilities, gets income support, housing benefit and their council tax paid for them. That sounds fair doesn't it???

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 631.

    JeevesinKent - don't you realise people who rent a property pay council tax the same as someone who owns their property, they pay whatever the council tax is for the property, do you honestly think everyone who rents just pays their rent and not the council tax. Also you pay car tax on each car you own already ask anyone who has more than one car if you don't believe me

  • rate this
    +6

    Comment number 630.

    @573Gertlush
    I couldn't agree more!
    So to all those who want a 200-300% surcharge on second homes I hope you'll accept a tax on every second or third child you spawn (fore fitting your allowance, and of course another surcharge for a second car.. Oh of course not, why would that be fair right? And no I don't have a second home just have one I rarely use due to working abroad while paying UK tax

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 629.

    Why don't some people read before commenting. The article is about "second homes". Nothing to do with rental properties at all which are already subject to council tax based on their occupation and are providing someone with a home. On the other hand "second homers" have been destroying rural british life for years, whilst others subsidise them with tax discounts.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 628.

    597.johnbull2000
    "And as for paying a per person charge? Remember the poll tax? The great unwashed put the end to that! Come on Pickles. Do something for Conservatives!!"
    ************
    Poll tax would have been fair IF it had been related to an individuals income, like local income tax.
    It can't be rocket science to work out a fairer tax.. surely

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 627.

    This is a great move. Why should the taxpayer help fund the owners of holiday homes. The discount was always indefensible.

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 626.

    Something is fundamentally wrong in a society that allows me the wherewithal to own both the property where I work, and another where I choose to holiday - and at the same time to help to price properties near my holiday home out of the reach of locals. That is why I chose not to own anything other than a static mobile home there. Removing the council tax reduction should just be a start . . .

  • rate this
    -3

    Comment number 625.

    This will prove to be a fantastic cash bonanza for coastal local authorities. Think of all the extra cash to be collected from owners of properties on holiday sites occupied for a few weeks during the summer months. What does it matter Mr Pickles if you lose all the votes of retirees who have scraped together all their lives to own one. ( Maybe a rethink coming? )

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 624.

    600.James Daly
    "CT is something of a blunt instrument, but it's cheap and reasonably fair"
    How is it 'reasonably fair' ?
    Its a stupid system.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 623.

    Can't quite understand the assumption that this is only about people dripping in wealth, or this apparent right to judge others on how they spend their money. Privilege? Really? If they've already paid tax on the £ when they earned it, when they bought the house, when they sell the house... Some used their savings to invest in houses rather than trust banks and pensions.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 622.

    619 "Oh dear"

    I didn't claim that was was necessarily right, I was just pointing out how it was originally calculated.

 

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