Moray Council has updated its local policy on relief from the levy of the 100% Additional Council Tax Charge to incentivise owners to bring empty properties back into use.
Once properties have been unoccupied for more than 12 months, a 100% Additional Council Tax Charge is levied on them.
Moray’s Corporate Committee has agreed the following changes to the existing local policy from 1 April 2024:
- If there is a change of liable person, a 10% award of discount may be awarded for a maximum period of 12 months;
- If a taxpayer is awaiting a decision on a planning application, a 50% award of discount may be awarded until a decision is made. This may initially be for a maximum period of 12 months, with the prospect of applying a further 12-month extension;
- If a taxpayer is undertaking reconstruction work to bring a property back into use, a 50% award of discount may be awarded for a maximum period of 12-months while work is ongoing, with the prospect of applying a further 12-month extension.
As of 1 January 2024, 504 properties were liable to pay the additional levy, which is equivalent to 1.07% of the current Council Tax database.
The charge contributes to Moray’s Council Tax revenue stream with £0.592M having been levied in the current financial year, equivalent to 1.16% of the net total 2023-24 Council Tax.
Further information will be available for property owners who wish to apply for relief on long-term empty properties.
Chair of Moray Council’s Corporate Committee, Cllr Bridget Mustard, said:
“The option for extending the 50% relief is intended to assist property owners who want to bring long-term empty properties back in to use quickly, making more domestic accommodation available within Moray.
“There will be a need to show progress is being made to improve the property to continue to qualify for a further 12 months of relief.”