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Extra Council Tax Charge For Empty Scots Homes


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#16 Jie Bie

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Posted 25 November 2011 - 03:36 PM

I'm subsidised by no one. You know bugger all about my financial affairs in the UK or elsewhere. Nice to see that edge of general resentment is still out there though, reminds me why I spend most of my time abroad :ph34r:

I do find this idea of being charged extra for not consuming something quite a bizarre concept.........however each to their own.

So from your high horse...how do you impose and police a penalty on folks not being there ? What does not being there actually mean ? Are you saying there should be a limit of 1 house per person ? or per family or what ? Lets see your image of how it should be done.


You should read up on Land Value Tax then.

The idea is to tax scarce and expensive resources, to prevent hoarding and encourage folk to ensure they are put to use.

Given that housing is indeed a scarce and expensive resource the idea of removing the empty home discount seems like a good idea to me. (but then again I don't own 1 home, let alone 2).

#17 abroad

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Posted 25 November 2011 - 04:04 PM

You should read up on Land Value Tax then.

The idea is to tax scarce and expensive resources, to prevent hoarding and encourage folk to ensure they are put to use.


Resources that have already been paid for with money that has already been taxed.......The question still stands, how do you check if a house is not being used without turning the population on itself and at what point is a house used and at what point is it unoccupied.....there are few absolutes in that situation.

#18 Jie Bie

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Posted 25 November 2011 - 04:54 PM

Resources that have already been paid for with money that has already been taxed.......The question still stands, how do you check if a house is not being used without turning the population on itself and at what point is a house used and at what point is it unoccupied.....there are few absolutes in that situation.

The answer is that you don't check. Every owner of every home has to pay council tax whether or not it is occupied. No need to turn the population in on itself.




#19 abroad

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Posted 25 November 2011 - 05:15 PM

The answer is that you don't check. Every owner of every home has to pay council tax whether or not it is occupied. No need to turn the population in on itself.


yes i agree but the OP has stated that there is interest from councils in a punative tax on 'empty' homes. Quite similar as to you have suggested in that under utilised resources should be taxed.....

#20 Son of Taeper

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Posted 25 November 2011 - 06:19 PM

So how will councils know that houses are empty?

If you get a council tax discount, this gives you the motivation to register your house as empty. If you have to pay extra council tax on an empty home, why would anyone register it as empty?

Would councils then opt for using surveillance to check if homes are empty? How unpleasant and expensive would that be? Why am I asking so many questions?


Where you been the last 100 years?
Councils tend to be built of vested interests. Nowadays you have to abstain on a vote if you are a VI. That shows everyone you may vote against them at a later stage if they don't play ball.
So (and I'm not saying this happens) you rent out the empty property to anyone that may vote against you (at an inflated rate) {Man friend would do})
They pay the rent and send back a request of what you can do for them at the next meeting.

If they can't find a man friend, they set the property up as prime social housing. If that doesn't work, they get squaters in.

To be serious though, they knock on the door and ask if the property is occupied.
No answer = no occupancy. Not rocket science. They should perhaps apply it to the thousands of office building that were put up on residential sites and then left empty for 10 years. Might be another VI there though :P
The views expressed in my posts are my own based upon what I read on other information supplied by other HPC members.
These should not be used a a definitive answer to any posts I attempt to answer.

#21 Jie Bie

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Posted 25 November 2011 - 08:24 PM

yes i agree but the OP has stated that there is interest from councils in a punative tax on 'empty' homes. Quite similar as to you have suggested in that under utilised resources should be taxed.....


Ah but although I can see the logic in taxing under utilised resources, I can also see the point being made about a punitive rate costing a lot to administer.

I don't know what the solution is, but I don't believe folk should be able to get a discount just because they own two homes. If homes were plentiful there would be no need, but they are a limited resource.

#22 Key Stakeholder

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Posted 26 November 2011 - 12:06 PM

I'm subsidised by no one. You know bugger all about my financial affairs in the UK or elsewhere. Nice to see that edge of general resentment is still out there though, reminds me why I spend most of my time abroad :ph34r:

I do find this idea of being charged extra for not consuming something quite a bizarre concept.........however each to their own.


Resentment? Yes indeed, I resent the fact that the number of homeless children in emergency accommodation is at highest ever levels, while others enjoy and indeed are happy to boast about taxpayer-funded subsidies on their EMPTY HOMES.

Asserting that taxpayers do not subsidise your empty home (for which you revel in the hope of getting a 100% council tax rebate), asserting that empty properties do not 'consume' local services is a self-serving fallacy, for empty homes continue to served by the emergency services and infrastructure which is the major part of LA spend. Perhaps you would have law enforcement and fire services operate on a subscription-only model, like last seen in the eighteenth century? Perhaps you are an advocate of comprehensive road-charging? Perhaps this empty home of yours has its own completely independent water-supply and sewerage infrastructure? Perhaps you believe that your empty home does not benefit from general and universal refuse collection from neigbouring properties? For only then could you reasonably suggest that no-one subsidises your empty home.

#23 Torryloonmadegood

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Posted 28 November 2011 - 09:24 AM

Wouldn't have thought this very workable, given the 1001 reasons a place could be empty without a major beaurocracy being created.

Enough tax payers money is already wasted everyday by the inept council in Aberdeen without giving them more "stuff" to bring their incompetency to bear on.

We need less government not more generally and in Aberdeen specifically a clear sweep to start again with professional competent manages based on essential services.

#24 Key Stakeholder

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Posted 28 November 2011 - 12:04 PM

Wouldn't have thought this very workable, given the 1001 reasons a place could be empty without a major beaurocracy being created.


I probably agree with this point. Given the propensity for illegal tax evasion and immoral tax avoidance which is one of the defining characteristics of our times, the introduction of punitive taxes would be tantamount to inviting lawbreaking and immoral behaviour. Its interesting, though, that this is framed in the language of 'workability' and 'bureaucracy', rather than morality and criminality. As if moral restraint or the need to obey the law were not enough to ensure compliance with the tax. Right enough.

So let us have a bonfire of bureaucracy, and say that all properties are taxed in their respective bands, irrespective of occupancy status. How would that be? More workable surely than the existing rebate system. Less bureaucracy, more justice, less lawbreaking

Enough tax payers money is already wasted everyday by the inept council in Aberdeen without giving them more "stuff" to bring their incompetency to bear on.

We need less government not more generally and in Aberdeen specifically a clear sweep to start again with professional competent manages based on essential services.


"Essential services", though. Mmmmm. I suspect that there's plenty wriggle-room in those weasel words. In your home town, for instance, it is said that incompetence and mismanagement has led a shortfall of some 70m in the council budget over the next 10 years. Aberdeen City Council are considering the closure of many of that city's famous parks and gardens, and selling the land. Essential services? They are also mooting the closure of all of that city's community libraries. Essential services? It is likely that CfE training in modern foreign languages will be stopped. Essential services? Class sizes in primary schools are to be increased by 78%. Essential services?
Aberdeen City Council have signalled their intention to implement all these measures, while signalling their reluctance to implement a reduction in council tax relief on empty homes.

I wholeheartedly agree with the desire for less government bureaucracy, and less bureaucratic impingement on our lives. But, this should be done with justice, or it runs the risk of consolidating the near-plutarchy like Aberdeen into open kleptocracy.

#25 Torryloonmadegood

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Posted 28 November 2011 - 12:58 PM

I think we are in agreement that everything that Aberdeen Council get involved in turns to ...... The level of public service waste as a result of basic incompetency and a job creation led beaurocraucy is astronomical.

The parasitic nature of the public sector will change in the new era, 500k jobs to go, we its a good start but theres at least another few that could go as well.

What you are suggesting will add no value once the costs of the beaurocracy is "paid". You are correct those with choice, will choose to find ways to avoid payment.

As someone, getting a net value of -27k from my taxes, I am all in favour of individual responsibility, I've paid for my childrens education twice and my families health care twice, i'd do whatever it took to avoid paying yet more tax.....

#26 Torryloonmadegood

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Posted 28 November 2011 - 01:17 PM

Whether it is immoral to seek ways to avoid tax depends on your view point.

Socialists will always seek ways to waste the money of others, unfortunately they always run out of other peoples money to spend.

Those emplyed in the public sector will always try to safeguard their non-jobs. Those in essential services will survive the cuts however it remains to be seen if the delivery will be any more efficient.

The way forward will be less "services" as you rightly describe. What I'd hope for is severe cuts, however I'll no doubt be disappointed.

The concept of individual responsibility seems to have vanished in our entitlement based culture.

#27 Key Stakeholder

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Posted 28 November 2011 - 01:33 PM

"New era"

#28 abroad

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Posted 29 November 2011 - 09:48 AM

Resentment? Yes indeed, I resent the fact that the number of homeless children in emergency accommodation is at highest ever levels, while others enjoy and indeed are happy to boast about taxpayer-funded subsidies on their EMPTY HOMES.


Yes house has been EMPTY for all of 5 weeks, a major consumer of space in the universe.....we could have moved in hundreds of orphaned kids in that time, just before Christmas as well. What was I thinking........Indeed I have become a blot on humanity. Let me know when you give up your house for the good of the community and I'll give up mine for the good of the community.

On reflection it would have been better to have sold my flat when I moved out 12 years ago and just let the people who were staying in social housing remain there.....just so I didn't later benefit from a legal discount on Council tax as I had the cheek to not sell the place immediately ....despite the fact that rules on inheritence make it inadvisable to release any assets within the first 6 months to ensure that all claims and debts are paid.......

If not just general resentment then what is it that drives you ?

#29 Torryloonmadegood

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Posted 29 November 2011 - 11:12 AM

Resentment? Yes indeed, I resent the fact that the number of homeless children in emergency accommodation is at highest ever levels, while others enjoy and indeed are happy to boast about taxpayer-funded subsidies on their EMPTY HOMES.

Asserting that taxpayers do not subsidise your empty home (for which you revel in the hope of getting a 100% council tax rebate), asserting that empty properties do not 'consume' local services is a self-serving fallacy, for empty homes continue to served by the emergency services and infrastructure which is the major part of LA spend. Perhaps you would have law enforcement and fire services operate on a subscription-only model, like last seen in the eighteenth century? Perhaps you are an advocate of comprehensive road-charging? Perhaps this empty home of yours has its own completely independent water-supply and sewerage infrastructure? Perhaps you believe that your empty home does not benefit from general and universal refuse collection from neigbouring properties? For only then could you reasonably suggest that no-one subsidises your empty home.



I can understand the resentment many renters must feel, talking up/creating yet more beaurocracy is really clutching at straws.

I sympathise, however you really do need a reality check. Its obviously government policy to create a soft landing for the housing market, the unwinding will take years.

In the interim, it doesn't serve much trying to wind up people who are better placed due to historical choices. Wrapping statements up in pseudo intellect is just amusing for the rest of us.

#30 Key Stakeholder

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Posted 29 November 2011 - 01:14 PM

:rolleyes:




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