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Torbay latest to scrap council tax discount for second home owners

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: January 24, 2013

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Council tax breaks for second home owners have been abolished in part of Devon, in a bid to revive the housing market.

Torbay District Council will charge 100% council tax on second homes and holiday homes from April rather than the current 90%.

Uninhabitable property will lose its 12-month exemption period and have to pay the full charge.

Empty properties will have their exemption period reduced from six months to one month.

Gordon Oliver, the Mayor of Torbay, said: "By removing the discounts, the council hopes to provide a stronger incentive to get empty homes back into use and relieve some of the pressures on our housing need across the bay."

Those currently eligible for a discount or exemption will receive a letter from the council explaining the changes.

Mr Oliver revealed before Christmas that Torbay Council was in line for £10 million of cuts in 2013-14.

Last month South Hams District Council and Plymouth City Council both abolished tax breaks for second home owners in a bid to save money. From April, properties that have stood empty in the South Hams for more than two years will be subject to 150% tax.

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