The Gloucestershire part of the Cotswolds could be totally wiped out of empty homes in the coming years or property owners face a looming increase in council tax charges.
A cap of 300% increase tax is being proposed by senior councilors — a move that is also seen to bring up extra pounds amounting to £61,857. Barring any objections, this is expected to be approved in a council meeting today, Thursday at 4 PM.
The new council tax will affect 119 empty homes, as shown in data obtained from official records. These properties have been determined to be empty or unfurnished for a long time.
The records show the breakdown as follows: currently, 76 homes are empty for two years but not exceeding five years; 23 homes have been empty for five years to 10 years; and the remaining 20 properties are for 10 years or more.
Some of these properties’ taxes will rise by three times the current rate.
The said proposal brings up the status of homes that have been empty for a period of two years or more. For these properties, a council tax increase of 150% shall be accorded starting April.
The 300% increase applies if the house has been empty for 10 years or more from April 2021 onwards.
If this move passes, even empty homes for more than two years but less than five years from the following April may be charged double the amount of the current council tax.
For homes that are empty for more than five years, three times the amount of council tax shall apply.
Since the council tax prevails as the mandatory levy for property owners, the anticipated increase in the Gloucestershire coffers will translate to council expenditure and services.
Such a rise in Gloucestershire follows the footsteps of Gloucester and Cheltenham, both of which approved the increase in their own rates last month.