OWNERS of empty properties in Pembrokeshire will have to pay council tax from next year if funding for discounted rates is withdrawn by the Welsh Government.

Full council approved a proposal to scrap the 50 percent empty property discount after indications from Cardiff that the funding will be removed, although written confirmation is yet to arrive.

Cabinet member for finance Cllr Bob Kilmister said at the meeting on October 10 that the funding loss would be £610,000 which is more than would be generated by charging the 50 percent rate due to the average band D calculations used.

Pembrokeshire County Council would expect to take in £520,000 a year, leaving a budget pressure of £90,000 for 2020/21 he added.

In September this year there were 2441 empty properties, said Cllr Kilmister, 620 of which paid long term empty rate premiums with around 1000 properties likely to be affected by the change.

A further 800 have time limit exemptions on their council tax rates in place, he added.

If confirmation of funding withdrawal comes from the Welsh Government, the discount rate will be removed on April 1, 2020, agreed on council.

 

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