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Agenda Item No

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Cabinet Meeting: 2 December 2013

 

Report of Leader

 

Council Tax Unoccupied Dwellings: 2014-15

 

Purpose of the Report

1.         To seek approval for the policy to be adopted for Council Tax on unoccupied dwellings for 2014-15.

Recommendations

1.         That 50% discount be allowed in 2014-15 in respect of class A, B and C dwellings.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1.         The Council is required to determine its policy on discount on unoccupied dwellings each year. 

Background

2.         A billing authority may decide to give a discount of between 10% and 50% on unoccupied, furnished dwellings.

3.         The regulations allow authorities to reduce or discontinue the 50% discount on dwellings which are unoccupied and substantially unfurnished and have been for more than six months. 

4.         The Welsh Regulations prescribe three classes of dwellings for which Welsh Local Authorities will have discretion to consider the discounts allowable: -    

Unoccupied furnished dwellings

The regulations prescribe two classes of unoccupied and furnished dwellings for which Welsh Local Authorities will have discretion to consider the discounts allowable of between 10% and 50% -:

·           Class A relates to dwellings with a restriction on occupancy by law which prohibits their use for a period of at least 28 consecutive days in any 12 month period;

·           Class B relates to dwellings that have no such restriction on occupancy.

Unoccupied unfurnished dwellings

The regulations prescribe a class of unoccupied and unfurnished dwelling for which Welsh Local Authorities will have discretion to consider the discounts allowable up to a maximum of 50% -:

·           Class C relates to long term (more than 6 months) unoccupied and substantially unfurnished dwellings. 

Relevant Issues and Options

5.         The councils current policy is to allow 50% discount on unoccupied dwellings (classes A, B and C). It is proposed to continue this policy for 2014-15.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

6.         The discounts allowed are reflected in the tax base, which is used by the Welsh Assembly Government in determining the Revenue Support Grant Settlement. 

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

7.         None

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

8.         The Council is obliged to collect Council Tax in line with the regulations.

Crime and Disorder Implications

9.         None

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

10.      None

Corporate/Service Objectives

11.      The setting of the determination of discounts on unoccupied dwellings supports the Corporate Priority of managing the Council’s money efficiently and effectively in order to maximise its ability to achieve service aims and the service objective of providing sound financial management.

Policy Framework and Budget

12.      The matter is for Executive decision.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

13.      No change has been proposed and the matter has not been subject to consultation.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

14.      Corporate Resources

Background Papers

None

 

Contact Officer

Clive Teague

Officers Consulted

Revenues and Benefits Manager

Council Tax manager

Responsible Officer:

Director of Resources