Council Tax changes for second or empty homeowners in Mansfield

PEOPLE who own a second home or an empty property within the Mansfield District will soon be receiving a letter notifying them of changes to their Council Tax payments.

From 1st April 2013, Council Tax Exemptions and Discounts will change for empty properties, properties undergoing structural repair and second homes.

Mansfield District Council has made these changes to part fund the introduction of a Local Council Tax Reduction Scheme, which replaces the current national Council Tax Benefit Scheme.

This is also being introduced in April 2013 as part of the Government’s Welfare Reform Agenda.

Funding from Government for the scheme has been cut by around 10 per cent, so the District Council is introducing these changes to Council Tax to help finance the new Council Tax Reduction Scheme and also to potentially reduce the number of empty properties in the district.

The changes are as follows:

*The Council Tax discount currently available for second homes will be removed (currently a 50 per cent discount),

*Owners of properties which are empty and unfurnished will pay 25 per cent of their Council Tax for up to six months and 100 per cent after six months (currently the property is exempt from Council Tax for six months and if it remains empty, then a 50 per cent charge will be applied after six months, based on the charging band which the property is in),

*Homes which are undergoing structural work and are uninhabitable will be charged 75% Council Tax for the first 12 months and 100 per cent after 12 months (currently these properties are exempt from Council Tax for up to 12 months).

*In relation to Second Homes, if the owner has to work away as a condition of employment, the charge may remain at the current 50%.

The Sole Occupier Discount of 25 per cent will remain unchanged.

Coun Roger Sutcliffe, Portfolio Holder for Resources and Deputy Mayor, said: “The Government’s Welfare Reform means that, like other Councils across the country, we have had to review our benefits system and, due to a significant cut in funding, reduce the amount discount for Council Tax. We have worked hard to ensure these changes are fair and affordable.”