Review Of Local Council Tax Discounts
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: No
Is subject to call in?: No
In March 2021, following a motion at full Council by the labour group which was accepted in February 2021, PRED resolved to review Council Tax Discretionary Discounts and report options to a future PRED Committee.
This report reviewed the options available and recommends to consult with residents to make amendments to the scheme of Council Tax Discounts and Premiums with effect from 1 April 2022, using discretionary powers granted by the Rating (Property in Common Occupation) and Council Tax (Empty Dwellings) Act 2018.
The report outlined the proposed changes and the potential impact on the tax base.
After a full discussion, Cllr Poppy MOVED and Cllr Barrett SECONDED the recommendations in the report. A vote was taken and it was RESOLVED UNANIMOUSLY.
Members are asked to:
R1. Award delegated authority to the Section 151 Officer in consultation with the Chair of Policy, Resources & Economic Development Committee to consult with residents on:
A) Removing the Council Tax discretionary discount for Empty and Unfurnished properties from 1 April 2022.
B) Removing the Council Tax discretionary discount for Second Homes from 1 April 2022.
C) Not changing The Council Tax discretionary discount for Empty & Uninhabitable properties from 1 April 2022.
R2. Report the results of the consultation to the next appropriate Policy, Resources and Economic Development Committee for a final decision on any proposed changes to Council Tax Discretionary Discounts.
Reasons for Recommendation
Properties that are vacant for long periods of time, can lead to problems with squatters, anti-social behaviour and have a direct impact on the amount of housing available in the Borough. The removal of these discounts would incentivise the owners to bring properties back into use and occupation with less delay.
Currently two local Council Tax discounts we are reviewing to remove are costing Brentwood Council £13,519 per annum, and the precepting authorities collectively £113,344 per annum. This would generate additional income to the collective Councils to reinvest within their services.
Legislation would still allow the Council to award discretionary support to people in exceptional circumstances and each request would be given due care and consideration and assessed on its own merits.
Report author: Rob Manser
Publication date: 07/10/2021
Date of decision: 30/09/2021
Decided at meeting: 30/09/2021 - Policy, Resources & Economic Development Committee