Rating (Property in Common Occupation) and Council Tax (Empty Dwellings) Bill: call for evidence

24 April 2018

Do you have relevant expertise and experience or a special interest in the Rating (Property in Common Occupation) and Council Tax (Empty Dwellings) [Lords] Bill, which is currently passing through Parliament?

If so, you can submit your views in writing to the House of Commons Public Bill Committee which is going to consider this Bill.

The Public Bill Committee is now able to receive written evidence. The sooner you send in your submission, the more time the Committee will have to take it into consideration.

The Committee will first meet on Tuesday 1 May 2018. It will stop receiving written evidence at the end of the Committee stage, which is expected to be not later than 5.00pm on Thursday 3 May 2018. However, please note that when the Committee concludes its consideration of the Bill it is no longer able to receive written evidence and it can conclude earlier than the expected deadline of 5.00pm on Thursday 3 May 2018.*

 

* In the last Parliamentary Session, the following Public Bill Committees concluded their consideration of the Bill earlier than scheduled: Criminal Finances, Cultural Property (Armed Conflicts), Health Service Medical Supplies (Costs), Neighbourhood Planning, Savings (Government Contributions), Technical and Further Education, Commonwealth Development Corporation, Children & Social Work, National Citizen Service, and Bus Services.

Aims of the Bill

This is a Government Bill, which implements two policy commitments which were made in the November 2017 Budget.

1. Reversing the effects of the ‘staircase tax’

The ‘staircase tax’ is a colloquial term given to the effects of the case of Woolway vs Mazars, on which judgment was given in July 2015. This case affected the valuation of properties for business rates purposes. The effect was that units of properties that are in a shared building are now treated as separate properties for the purposes of business rates, even if they are contiguous (touching) and in the same occupation.

The Government issued a consultation, and a draft Bill, on 29 December 2017, with a response published on 3 April 2018.

The chair of the Communities and Local Government Committee corresponded with the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government on the subject on 23 January (PDF PDF 2.33 MB), 19 February (PDF PDF 180 KB), 26 February (PDF PDF 1.55 MB), and 8 March (PDF PDF 368 KB) 2018.

2. Increasing the maximum ‘empty homes premium’

The Bill will increase the maximum level of council tax premium that can be applied to properties that have been empty and substantially unfurnished for at least two years from 50% to 100%. This is separate from the Bill's first provision and did not feature in the consultation and correspondence noted above.

The Bill extends to England and Wales and applies to England only.

Follow the progress of the Rating (Property in Common Occupation) and Council Tax (Empty Dwellings) [Lords] Bill

The Rating (Property in Common Occupation) and Council Tax (Empty Dwellings) Bill 2017-19 had its First Reading on 28 March 2018. The Bill’s debate on Second Reading in the Commons took place on 23 March 2018. All debates on the Bill can be accessed on Parliament’s Bill pages.

This Bill has now been committed to a Public Bill Committee which will have its first meeting on Tuesday 1 May 2018.

Guidance on submitting written evidence

Deadline for written evidence submissions

The Public Bill Committee is now able to receive written evidence. The sooner you send in your submission, the more time the Committee will have to take it into consideration, and possibly reflect it in an amendment. The order in which amendments are taken in Committee will be available in due course under Selection of Amendments on the Bill documents pages. Once the Committee has dealt with an amendment it will not revisit it.

The Committee is expected to meet for the first time on Tuesday1 May 2018; it will stop receiving written evidence at the end of the Committee stage on Thursday 3 May 2018. Please note that when the Committee concludes its consideration of the Bill it is no longer able to receive written evidence and it can conclude earlier than the expected deadline of 5.00pm on Thursday 3 May 2018.

Your submission should be emailed to scrutiny@parliament.uk.

Further guidance on submitting written evidence can be found here.

Image: iStockphoto


 

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