Empty Calderdale homes face a council tax hike!

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IN a bid to reduce the number of empty properties in Calderdale, the council has moved a step nearer charging homeowners full council tax as soon as they become vacant.

The move approved by Calderdale Council Cabinet last night could raise an extra £1.5 million a year.

But members stopped short of recommending a 50 per cent council tax premium on the 800 or so properties which are empty for more than two years.

During 2011/12, owners of about 9,500 empty homes were given council tax discounts, losing the authority an estimated £1.8 million.

Community services spokeswoman Coun Pauline Nash said if owners had to continue paying tax, it might provide an incentive to quickly sell or rent them out.

The decision is expected to be confirmed at the full council meeting in November.

Owners might also be allowed to pay council tax in 12 rather than 10 monthly instalements, said Coun Nash (Lib-Dem, Skircoat).