The local taxation unit is responsible for the collection of your council tax and business rates for Walsall Council. These pages will help to answer some of your questions about our service and provide a number of online services.
Council Tax Empty Property Discount Consultation
Walsall Council, like many others, is experiencing significant financial challenges. Over the last four years Walsall Council has seen government grant funding reduce significantly and since 2010 the council has reduced its spending by £79.67m.
With funding continuing to reduce and with costs rising we will need to save £29m in 2015/16, and £86m in total over the next 4 years.
At the Cabinet meeting of 29 October draft budget proposals were agreed as a basis for consultation. You can find out details of all our draft budget proposals and have your say on our website www.walsall.gov.uk/budgethaveyoursay No decisions on the budget have yet been made.
Proposed changes to council tax discounts for empty homes
As part of the consultation on our draft budget proposals, we are now writing to you to specifically seek your views on proposed changes to these discounts.
The current discounts are:
- 100% discount in council tax for the first three months when a property is unoccupied and unfurnished
- 50% discount for the first twelve months that a property requires major repair or is undergoing structural alteration.
The options below have been chosen to ensure that there is a simple and understandable discount scheme for empty properties. It ensures that there is a constant approach and the costs associated with administration of the scheme are kept to a minimum allowing for the maximisation of income. This maximisation would result in reducing the cuts needed to other area that have a direct impact on the vulnerable. The current budget proposals include a saving of £1m from changes to the discount for empty properties.
Amending the discount on unoccupied and unfurnished discounts to option1 or 2 will achieve this saving. However retaining the discounts at current levels and time period or just amending the discount for properties requiring major repair work or undergoing structural alteration will not and the deficit in the Council’s budget would have to be found by making savings elsewhere or an increase in council tax
For properties that are unoccupied and unfurnished the proposed options are:
Option 1 – completely remove the discount for empty and unfurnished properties
Option 2 – retain the 100% discount for empty and unfurnished properties but reduce the period of the discount to the first 7 days
Option 3 – retain the 100% discount and 3 month time period
For properties requiring major repair or undergoing structural alteration the proposed options are:
Option 1 – completely remove the discount for these properties
Option 2 – retain the 50% discount and 12 month time period
To have your say please complete this short online survey
The deadline for responses is 24 December 2014.
You can call in to see us at the First Stop Shop in the main Civic Centre entrance in Darwall Street.
Our opening hours are:
- Monday - 8.45am to 5.15pm
- Tuesday - 8.45am to 5.15pm
- Wednesday - 8.45am to 5.15pm
- Thursday - 8.45am to 5.15pm
- Friday - 8.45am to 4.45pm
You can use our online contact form for general enquiries, compliments and complaints.
Local Taxation Service
PO Box 23
Enquiry line 0300 555 2851
Payment line 0300 555 2852 (24 hours)
Fax 01922 723337
By texbox - for deaf or speech impaired users, access texbox or textphone on 01922 654000
This page was last updated on 14 November 2014