Council Tax Premiums Consultation

Council Tax Premiums Consultation

Why are we doing this?: 

Currently the Council levies a premium on properties which are classed as long term empty properties and second homes. The premium is 50% of the standard Council Tax for the property, so in cases where the premium applies, 150% Council Tax is paid.

This consultation is seeking views as to whether the Council should increase the premium levied on  long term empty properties.

In 2022/23, the premium collected from long term empty properties was £163k. During the year, 465 properties were subject to a premium. In a number of cases, properties may only be subject to a premium for a short period of time e.g. 3 months, whereas others may be for the full financial year.

When considering whether or not to amend the premium levels, the discretion given to local authorities to charge a premium is intended to be a tool to help local authorities to

  • Bring long-term empty homes back into use to provide safe, secure and affordable homes; and
  • Increase the supply of affordable housing and enhance the sustainability of local communities. 

There are a number of scenarios where a property could be subject to a premium levy, but then exempted for a number of reasons. This includes the property being actively been marketed for sale or let. In such scenarios, exemptions are time-limited.

As at 11 July 2023, there are currently 287 properties being charged a premium.

Welsh Government have amended regulations which allowing Councils greater flexibility to vary the rate of premiums charged.

Whilst increasing the premium rate may generate additional income, the level could not be guaranteed. However, if the premium is working successfully it should ideally help to bring more properties back into use, thus increasing numbers of properties available within Wrexham for sale or rent.

What do we want to know?: 

Proposal on Council Tax Premiums

This consultation is seeking views as to whether the Council should raise premiums on Long Term Empty Properties to 100% from 2024/25 and then 200% from 2025/26.

There are 50 properties which have been empty for over 5 years. As part of the consultation on premiums, consideration could also be given to whether these should be charged an additional premium up to the maximum of 300% premium.

What we found out: 

This consultation received 138 responses, indicating general support for the council’s proposals for Council Tax Premiums for long term empty properties from 1st April 2024 and beyond.   

Section 6 of the report accompanying the decision made at full Council on Wednesday 27th September 2023, includes details of the consultation findings.

What difference has it made?: 

Wrexham County Borough Council has approved an increase on the level of premium on Long Term Empty Properties from 1 April 2024 from 50% to 100%.  Properties which had been empty for over 4 years would be subject to a further premium of 50%, so would have a 150% premium. The premium should also increase from 1 April 2025, by a further 50%, so from 1 April 2025, this would increase to 200% and a further 50% should the property be empty for 4 years.

Consultation start date 14 August 2023
Consultation end date 17 September 2023


Full address Contact Email
LL11 1AR
Matthew Evans