Published 1 October 2012
Residents are being given the chance to have their say on proposed changes to council tax discounts and exemptions.
From 1 April 2013 the government is scrapping its council tax discount scheme and councils will be able to decide which, if any, properties should receive discounts or exemptions from council tax.
Currently people can claim:
A 10% discount for second homes,
An exemption for up to six months for properties that are empty and unfurnished,
An exemption for up to 12 months for properties undergoing structural alteration or repair,
An exemption for empty properties that have been repossessed.
The council is proposing to abolish all those discounts and exemptions. It is also considering whether to charge people a 50% premium for having a property empty for two years or more.
Cabinet member for Finance and Performance, Councillor Yvonne Johnson, said: We have a desperate shortage of housing, so we want to do all we can to discourage people from keeping vacant homes. We hope this scheme will deter people from keeping properties empty for long periods, which can attract squatters.
The results of the consultation will be available later this year and the final scheme will be discussed at a meeting of the full council in December 2012.
To take part in the consultation, visit http://www.ealing.gov.uk/consultations.