South Cambridgeshire District Council plan double tax charge on empty homes
Councillors believe that by increasing the amount of council tax charged on empty homes in South Cambridgeshire it will encourage more properties back into use.
Currently the owners of homes that are left empty and substantially unfurnished for more than two years must pay an extra 50 per cent on top of the regular bill.
At a meeting of South Cambridgeshire District Council’s cabinet last Wednesday (February 6), members decided to increase that premium, subject to approval at a full council meeting later this month.
If approval is given, the 50 per cent premium will be replaced from April 1 by an additional 100 per cent premium on homes that are empty for two years or more, and from April next year there will also be an additional 200 per cent premium on homes that are empty for five years or more. In 2021 the premium will reach 300 per cent on homes that are empty for 10 years or more.
Councillors hope that by increasing the tax burden on long-term empty homes, owners will be incentivised to bring them back into use.
SCDC’s lead cabinet member for finance, Cllr John Williams, said: “This seems like a common-sense approach to try to encourage homes that are empty for a long time to be put to good use.”
All members will vote on the proposals at a full council meeting on Thursday, February 21.