Council Tax Changes

Council tax is administered under central government regulations. With the introduction of the Localism Act, new powers have been delegated to local authorities. The government is proposing to change legislation to some exemptions and discretionary discounts. This would come into effect from 1 April 2013 and be effective from subsequent years. The main areas of change are:

  • Abolish the exemption that is currently available for up to 12 months in respect of an empty property which requires or is undergoing major structural repair or alteration to render it habitable (Class A).
  • Abolish the exemption that is currently available for up to 6 months after a dwelling becomes unoccupied and unfurnished (Class C).
  • Remove the discount for second homes which is currently 10-50%. These properties would in future pay 100% council tax.
  • Charge an additional ‘empty homes premium’ of 50% of the council tax charge for properties which have been left empty for two years or more.

Other discounts and exemptions are not affected by these proposals.

South Gloucestershire Council will retain the power to award discretionary relief to people in exceptional circumstances each request being treated on its own merits.

Our proposal

We are proposing (subject to formal regulations being laid), with effect from 2013/14 to:

  • Award no discretionary discount for Class A and Class C properties.
  • Remove the current 10% discount for second homes
  • Apply an additional levy of 50% on properties that have been empty for two years or more.

Why we need to make changes

In April 2013 council tax benefit, the current means of helping people on low incomes meet their council tax charge, will be replaced by a new local council tax support scheme.

Under the existing council tax benefit scheme, the council generally receives 100% funding from the government to cover the cost of awards made. However, under the new local scheme the council will only receive from government a maximum of 90% grant to cover the cost of awards for local council tax support. The 10% reduction in funding for South Gloucestershire Council is expected to be approximately £1.4 million for 2013/14.

Rather than reduce front line services to meet this shortfall in funding the council is proposing to review some of the council tax discounts and exemptions that apply to second homes and empty properties.  The extra revenue raised through the review will be used to fund the new local council tax support scheme.

Have your say

The council wants to ensure that all residents (including organisations and voluntary groups) have an opportunity to have their say aboutSouth Gloucestershire’s proposals.

For further information about the council’s proposals and to have your say, please:

We want to ensure that your needs are met.  If you would like this information in any other format, please contact us. For example, you may wish to receive this document in Braille, audio tape, large print, computer disk or community languages. Telephone: 01454 868009 or Email: 

The consultation is open from Monday 9 July until Sunday 7 October 2012.

This consultation has now closed and our consultation report is now available.


  • Opened
    9 Jul 2012 at 00:00
  • Closed
    7 Oct 2012 at 23:59
  • Response Published
    01 Dec 2012


Consultation Topic
  • Customer service and satisfaction
  • Spending and budget
Geographical area
  • Almondsbury
  • Bitton
  • Boyd Valley
  • Bradley Stoke Central and Stoke Lodge
  • Bradley Stoke North
  • Bradley Stoke South
  • Charfield
  • Chipping Sodbury
  • Cotswold Edge
  • Dodington
  • Downend
  • Emersons Green
  • Filton
  • Frampton Cotterell
  • Frenchay and Stoke Park
  • Hanham
  • Kings Chase
  • Ladden Brook
  • Longwell Green
  • Oldland Common
  • Parkwall
  • Patchway
  • Pilning and Severn Beach
  • Rodway
  • Severn
  • Siston
  • Staple Hill
  • Stoke Gifford
  • Thornbury North
  • Thornbury South and Alveston
  • Westerleigh
  • Winterbourne
  • Woodstock
  • Yate Central
  • Yate North
Marking a consultation as relevant to a particular audience indicates that it may be of special relevance to people within that group. It doesn't, however, mean that other groups wont find the consultation of interest - we welcome responses from everybody.
For example, education issues may be of particular interest to Parents & Guardians, and so will be shown to people searching the system for parenting issues, but the views of others (eg: Business, Faith Groups) are also relevant.
Target Audience
  • All residents
  • Service users
  • Town and Parish Councils
Contact Details

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