Pickles to slash 'unfair' council tax charge for extended families
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Central Government and also in Housing, Regulation
'Boom time for bailiffs' warning as cuts to council tax support hit most vulnerable
Eric Pickles has announced plans to help extended families by abolishing an "unfair" council tax surcharge on annexes and home improvements.
The communities secretary claims that the current council tax system unfairly penalises those with family annexes through double taxation, where householders are being billed a second time for the outbuildings in addition to their payment for their main property.
The minister is proposing a new national discount for all family annexes, not just those for older people, as a "quick and easy way" to remove the council tax surcharge from the system, which he claims will save an average £485 a year on a typical £2,427 combined bill.
Pickles said: "I believe the government should be supporting hard-working families who do the right thing. Removing the family tax penalty on annexes and home improvements will help provide more affordable housing and strengthen the bonds that tie society together."
The government has also confirmed that it intends to remove the community infrastructure levy on self-build properties, including all extensions, family annexes and home improvements.
Additionally, ministers want to remove Section 106 housing levies on annexes and extensions, which they have described as "a stealth tax slowly being introduced by town halls".
Pickles added: "By cutting town hall taxes on family annexes, extensions and home improvements, we are supporting aspiration and choice, as well as giving a boost to the construction sector and local traders.
"These common sense tax cuts will increase the provision of affordable housing to those on lower and middle incomes. Encouraging extended families to stay together will reduce social care costs to the taxpayer, and protect independence and dignity for the young and old."
A council tax exemption for annexes occupied by a dependant aged 65 years or over or severely disabled persons is already in place.
The government estimates that there are 24,150 family annexes in England.