Estimate of the number of properties liable for Council Tax.
The latest statistics release includes data from 2009 to 2013 updating the statistics Council Taxbase 2012 in England previously issued on 20 November 2012.
In the last few years, since the introduction of the New Homes Bonus in the summer of 2010, local authorities have been regularly reviewing their housing stock and the discounts and exemptions awarded. April 2013 saw the both the abolition of 2 major exemption classes that related to empty dwellings and the introduction of local Council Tax support which will have acted as the catalyst for many authorities to once again review their exemptions and discounts. These reviews will have resulted in changes in both the number of empty properties and second homes and the class of exemptions.
The data are supplied by local authorities and are a snapshot of their position at a point in the autumn each year. Year on year changes can be quite marked, especially with an exemption class as authorities are regularly reviewing the exemptions they have granted.
Number of dwellings
- in England there were a total of 23.3 million dwellings on the Valuation Office valuation list as at 9 September 2013, an increase of 133,000 (or 0.6%) over the figure for September 2012
- at the same date there were 22.8 million dwellings in England on the Valuation Office valuation list and liable for Council Tax; this was an increase of 419,000 (or 1.9%) over the figure for September 2012; apart from the growth in the overall number of dwellings, this large increase in dwellings liable for Council Tax can be attributed to the large reduction in the number of dwellings exempt from Council Tax
- the number of dwellings on the valuation list that are exempt from Council Tax fell by 286,000 (or 36%) compared with 2012; this is a result of the abolition of 2 of the major exemption classes (A and C) from 1 April 2013; in 2012 these 2 classes accounted for 311,000 dwellings
- 8.4 million dwellings were subject to either a discount or to a premium on their Council Tax; of these 7.7 million dwellings were entitled to a discount as a result of being occupied by single adults; this represents 33% of all dwellings; this figure has remained constant for the last 5 years
- in 2013 the number of empty dwellings subject to a discount was 135,000; in previous years only dwellings empty for more than 6 months could receive discounts; the abolition of 2 of the major exemption classes (A and C) which related to short term empty dwellings this year has meant that all empty dwellings are now eligible for a discount; this technical change will have been a major factor behind the increase of 42,000 in the number of dwellings receiving this discount compared to 2012
- in the same period the number of empty dwellings not subject to a discount (i.e. liable to pay 100% of the Council Tax due) increased by 128,000 (or 80%)
- from 1 April 2013, authorities are able to levy a premium on those dwellings that have been empty for more than 2 years; authorities reported that on 9 September 2013 there were 56,000 empty dwellings liable to pay a premium
- all these changes resulted in a total of 480,000 empty dwellings being liable for Council Tax on 9 September 2013; this is an increase of 226,000 (or 89%) on the equivalent figure for 2012. A contributing factor to this is the abolition of 2 of the major exemption classes (A and C)
Exemptions from Council Tax
- the net number of dwellings on the valuation list that are exempt from Council Tax, after class A and C exemptions were taken into consideration, rose by 25,000 (or 5%) when compared with 2012; some of this increase may be attributable to the reassessment of empty dwellings
- 43% of all exemptions are now class M or N (student related exemptions); of these, class M exemptions (a hall of residence provided predominantly for the accommodation of students) have increased by more than 50% in the period 2009 to 2013