Brighton and Hove council tax set to rise by 4.99 per cent Brighton News

In a report to councillors, it is recommended that Brighton and Hove City Council hike council tax by 4.99 per cent – the maximum amount councils are able to increase the tax by without holding a referendum.

It is forecast that the council tax payments over the next financial year will contribute £185.1 million to the council’s budget.

The report also notes that almost 6,000 properties in the city will be occupied by students, who do not pay council tax.

While the number is a significant increase on the previous year, the report states this is due to new student accommodation being built within the city, with individual bedrooms being rated as separate properties.

The proposed increase comes as Brighton and Hove City Council faces a £31 million budget gap, with council leader Bella Sankey warning that a “very large shortfall in funding” will mean “extremely difficult decisions” will need to be taken to balance the books.

The Argus: A council tax premium will also be levyed against second homes and empty properties in the cityA council tax premium will also be levyed against second homes and empty properties in the city (Image: Getty)

Following legislation in Parliament, the council is also set to implement a new council tax premium on second homes and empty properties.

The new charge for long-term empty and unfurnished properties left vacant for at least a year would come into effect from April 1 this year if approved by councillors, while the premium for second homes would be introduced from April 1, 2025.

Figures from the council reveal that 1,385 homes in Brighton and Hove would be affected by the new charge, increasing the level of collectable council tax by approximately £2.9 million from 2025/26.

A potential total of 461 empty properties would be subject to the empty properties premium, increasing council tax revenue by around £913,000 from the 2024/25 financial year.

A report recommending the charge states: “Applying a premium to second homes and empty properties allows councils to raise additional revenue and to acknowledge the impact that second and empty homes can have on communities and housing supply.

“In the case of empty properties, this may incentivise property owners to bring properties back into use.”

Councillors will discuss the proposed increases at a meeting of the strategy, finance and city regeneration committee on Thursday, January 25.

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This notice was published: 2024-01-18 15:00:00

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