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Council Tax: Empty Property

Volume 487: debated on Monday 2 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government with reference to the answer to the hon. Member for Welwyn Hatfield of 31 January 2008, Official Report, column 575W, on council tax: empty property, if she will place in the Library a copy of the final report by Roger Tym and Partners. (251934)

I have today placed in the House Library a copy of the report, “Application of Discretionary Council Tax Powers for Empty Homes”, by Roger Tym Partners in Association with Three Dragons. The report is also available on Communities and Local Government's website at:

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what arrangements are in place to compensate local authorities which report a reduction in their council tax base because of an increase in numbers of empty residential properties. (252502)

The distribution of Formula Grant takes into account the relative needs and relative resources of each authority, relative to all other authorities providing the same services. There is also a central allocation and the floor damping mechanism.

The relative resources component reflects the authority's potential to raise income through council tax. For multi-year settlements, this is measured by projections of the council tax base.

The council tax base is the number of Band D equivalent properties. The number of dwellings in each band is calculated by taking the number of dwellings on the valuation list and adjusting for various exemptions and discounts.

For the 2008-09 to 2010-11 settlement, the projections of the tax base were calculated using the tax base as at 8 October 2007 and then applying the average annual increase between October 2005 and October 2007.

The number of dwellings that receive a discount because they are classed as long-term empty dwellings is taken into account in the calculation of the tax base.