Council Tax Reductions

Empty Properties

The Local Government Finance Act 2012 allows local authorities’ the discretion to determine the duration and amount of discount for empty and unoccupied properties’, and the amount of discount for a period of 12 months for properties in need of or undergoing structural renovation.

The act also gave local authorities the power to vary these discounts providing agreement is made at a full meeting of the Council, before the setting of the Council’s budget and prior to the financial year that any changes are to commence.

The Isle of Wight Council resolved on 18 January 2017, from 1 April 2017 properties considered empty and unoccupied, or in need of or undergoing structural alterations will receive a zero discount.

To view the agenda and minutes from the full council meeting on 18 January 2017, please click here.

To view the committee report Council Tax Discount Options 2017/18 please click here (PDF, 100.20KB, 11 pages).

Historical Changes

Discounts Prior to 1st April 2013

Discounts from 1 April 2013

Discounts from 1 April 2017

Empty and unfurnished Property – 100% for a maximum of 6 months

Empty and unfurnished Property – 100% for a maximum of 3 months

Empty and unfurnished Property – 0%

Property in need of or undergoing structural renovations – 100% for a maximum of 12 months

Property in need of or undergoing structural renovations – 75% for a maximum 12 months

Property in need of or undergoing structural renovations – 0% (it is still a requirement to identify properties under repair)

Second Home Discount – 10% reduction

Second Home Discount – 0% reduction

Second Home Discount – 0% reduction

Premium for properties empty and unoccupied for 2 years or more – 0%

Premium for properties empty and unoccupied for 2 years or more – 50%

Premium for properties empty and unoccupied for 2 years or more – 50%

These changes are consistent with the Council’s aim for regeneration and to bring such properties back into occupation at the earliest opportunity. By removing discounts, this will promote prompt reoccupation of a property, creating additional housing stock available for island residents.

For more information on how to bring a property back into use, please click here.

Long term empty properties (Premium)

Where a property has been unoccupied and substantially unfurnished in excess of two years a 50% levy resulting in a charge of 150% will be applied.

Section 13A of the Local Government Finance Act 1992, inserted by section 76 of the Local Government Act 2003 - this gave councils new powers to create their own discounts and exemptions, including powers to grant relief on a case by case basis of between 1% & 100%. Any discount given has to be met by the council.

The council has the power to agree discounts but is not obliged to do so as Council Tax is a tax related to property and not directly to the provision of any specific services. It is not appropriate therefore, to relate the cessation, reduction or non provision of any specific services or facilities to the payment of Council Tax.

Any specific application for discount is referred to the Chief Finance Officer and section 151 Officer, under their delegated authority, and decision is made on the merits of the case.

To view the Council Tax Section 13A (1) (C) Discretionary Reduction in Liability Policy, please click here (PDF, 294.43KB, 12 pages).

To view the Guidance and Application form for Discretionary Council Tax Reduction under Section 13A of the Local Government Finance Act 1992, please click here (PDF, 179.20KB, 6 pages).

To view the Equality Impact Assessment Section 13A Discretionary Relief Policy, please click here (PDF, 276.74KB, 11 pages).