Posted: Sun 16th Jul 2023

Proposal to Increase Council Tax on Long-Term Empty Properties in Blaenau Gwent

news.wales / newyddion.cymru
This article is old - Published: Sunday, Jul 16th, 2023

OWNERS of long term empty properties in Blaenau Gwent could face a council tax hike in the future.
At next Wednesday’s (July 19) meeting of Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council’s Cabinet, councillors will consider a proposal to hold a consultation exercise on increasing council tax premiums on these properties.
The report explains that an extra £1.3 million could be generated for council coffers if the maximum premium possible of 300 per cent is levied on these properties.
In April, the Welsh Government agreed that local authorities can charge up to 300 per cent more council tax on top of the normal bill on both long-term empty properties and second homes.
According to the Welsh Government, the intention of the policy is to help to bring long-term empty properties back into use to: “provide safe, secure. and affordable homes and support local authorities in increasing the supply of affordable housing and enhancing the sustainability of local communities.”
Resources chief officer Rhian Hayden said: “Throughout Blaenau Gwent there are currently in the region of 400 dwellings that are classed as long term empty, and one registered as a second home.
“There is a significant unmet demand for affordable housing within Blaenau
Gwent alongside increasing costs associated with homelessness.
“The council’s empty property strategy aims to tackle the problem of
empty properties and to ensure that where vacant properties are identified
every effort is made to renovate them to a good standard and bring them
back into use.”
In the past Blaenau Gwent has dropped the 50 per cent discount provided to properties that have been empty for longer than six months and they are now billed the full amount.
The report recommends that councillors opt for the consultation exercise.
Local authorities in other parts of Wales have brought in these higher council tax premiums for long-term empty properties, with Gwynedd, the Isle of Anglesey and Powys councils all charging a 100 per cent premium which effectively doubles the council tax bill.
On second homes the premiums are varied, with Gwynedd charging 150 per cent, Powys 75 per cent, Isle of Anglesey 50 per cent.
Neighbouring Monmouthshire County Council has taken a different approach and last March agreed a sliding scale of premiums to be levied on long term empty properties depending on how long they have been empty.
A 100 per cent premium applies to properties empty for one year, a 200 per cent for properties empty for two years and a 300 per cent to properties empty for three years or more.
A council tax premium for second homes of 100 per cent will come into force in Monmouthshire from April 2024. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

By BBC LDRS ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​



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