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Reduced council tax for second homes is scrapped

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: January 25, 2014

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PEOPLE in South Derbyshire who own a second home will no longer enjoy a reduction in their council tax.

The decision was made at a meeting of South Derbyshire District Council which said it needs the income to reduce the council’s deficit.

Scrapping the 10 per cent council tax that is currently on second homes will save the council £13,500 a year.

The changes will come into effect from April 1 following the proposal being voted through at a meeting held by the authority.

Leader of the council Bob Wheeler, said: “From April 1 the ten per cent discount on second homes will be removed, which will meet a need for a £ 13,500 reduction in the deficit.”

Second homes are classed as unoccupied furnished lets or holiday homes which are subject to council tax.

The council currently has 199 properties classed as second homes in South Derbyshire.

This is an increase from 167 in the previous year, and was thought to be due to the introduction of the Empty Property Premium which carries an additional charge of 50 per cent.

Before 2009 second homes were subject to a statutory 50 per cent liability.

A change to the regulations later that year saw the council reduce the discount to 10 per cent, meaning that second homes in South Derbyshire were subject to 90 per cent council tax.

But the authority has the discretion to change the discount, including having no discount at all and charging the full council tax rate, as is now the case in South Derbyshire.

In special cases, a council has no discretion on the level of discount and a 50 percent charge applies.

This is where the second home is owned by someone who cannot live there because they are required to live elsewhere in the UK as a condition of their job.

However, there are currently no such cases in South Derbyshire.

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