Cuts to council tax discount for empty homes

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COUNCIL tax discounts are set to be reduced to help Sheffield Council collect an additional £2 million each year.

Proposals are set to be approved at Wednesday’s cabinet meeting to help the authority deal with prolonged cuts to its budgets.

Under the plans, a 10 per cent discount on second homes is to be removed, while a 12-month exemption on council tax for empty properties in need of repair is to be replaced with a 25 per cent discount.

The discount will be valid for 12 months, after which full council tax will apply.

Meanwhile, a 12-month council tax exemption on empty unfurnished homes will be replaced with a 10 per cent discount for six months.

Jon West, a Sheffield Council finance officer, said: “The Government’s intention is to allow authorities to introduce these changes from April 2013 and it is estimated that the council will be able to generate in excess of £2 million in additional revenue.”

The proposed changes to council tax will have to be approved by the cabinet and then at a full meeting of Sheffield Council before they can come into force.