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Council Tax Discounts

Council Tax Discounts on Empty Properties




At the meeting on 13 December Cheshire East Council voted to remove council tax discounts on empty properties. This action will remove a perverse incentive for property owners to keep their properties empty. There is a severe shortage of housing at the moment, so any action taken to increase the supply of housing is welcome. 


Houses left empty for more than 2 years will face an increase in council tax to 150% of the normal level.


Discounts on second homes will also be removed.


It is expected that the changes will raise an extra £3.2m in council tax.



Speaking at the Council Meeting on 13 December Cllr Sam Corcoran, Labour Councillor for Sandbach Heath & East, said,

“Members will remember that in February at budget setting time I suggested that the council should remove the discounts on second and empty properties, so I am pleased to see the proposals today to do just that. I am also pleased with the way the proposals have come to this meeting and I thank the Finance Portfolio Holder for his openness in dealing with this issue.

Many outside this chamber only see the conflict between political parties. In this case the concerns raised in Labour & Conservative groups were almost identical. Concerns over supporting widows and the bereaved and also concerns over young couples seeking to get onto the property ladder by buying a house in a state of disrepair and bringing it back into use. Those concerns have been addressed.

The solution is not perfect. It involves the use of section 13a which allows discretion but it will be monitored and reviewed over the next year. Nevertheless, I think this is a good compromise.”

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