Posted: Sat 17th Feb 2024

£300,000 Raised by Merthyr Tydfil Council through Council Tax on Empty Properties

news.wales / newyddion.cymru
This article is old - Published: Saturday, Feb 17th, 2024

Almost £300,000 is set to be raised by Merthyr Tydfil Council from charging higher council tax on long term empty properties over the last year.
In 2023/2024, figures show the council is expected to raise £338,613 from the premium on long term empty homes and when taking into account the £40,000 spend on a revenue inspector this figure becomes £298,613.
When the premium for second homes comes in this April, the income from both premiums is set to be £599,680 with second homes contributing £301,067 towards this both next year (2024/2025) and the year after (2025/2026) and £40,000 continuing to go on the revenue inspector role.
The recommendations to full council on Wednesday, February 21 are that the council continues charging a council tax premium of 100% on long-term empty properties that have been empty more than 12 months and that it charges a premium of 100% on second homes from April 2024 following a decision last March.
Another recommendation is to introduce a local council tax exception to help new owners of properties undergoing renovation, not charge a premium for up to 12 months and to not to charge a council tax premium on the domestic element of qualifying composite properties.
Figures in a council report show that there are currently 326 long term empty properties (empty for a year or more) in Merthyr Tydfil which, based on a collection rate of 100%, would generate additional revenue of £483,733 with the premium and based on an in-year collection rate of 70% would bring in additional revenue of £338,613.
There are currently 266 second homes in the county borough and with the premium, based on a collection rate of 100%, would generate additional revenue of £430,096 in 2024/2025 and based on an in-year collection rate of 70% would bring in additional revenue of £301,067.
The report said that, as at January 25 this year, there are a total of 902 empty and unfurnished properties in Merthyr Tydfil of which 498  have been empty from more than six months to more than 20 years.
The report said: “Whilst the new legislation allows for a maximum 300% council tax premium, this local authority is currently exercising its discretion not to go to this level at this time.
“We are well aware of the impact that long-term empty properties and second homes have within our communities and the decision to charge a premium on these properties to encourage owners to bring them back into use is a correct one.
“However, the level that a council tax premium is set to, has to be balanced against the adverse impact on the local authorities collection rate and it is to this end that this current level is proposed.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​



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