BCA: councils have paid £690m in empty property tax


Local councils may have paid £690 million in business rates on their empty property, the Business Centre Association (BCA) has claimed.

More than 320 local authorities were hit with the bill, a freedom of information request from the BCA and Property Week has revealed.

Chief executive of the British Property Federation, Liz Pearce, said if the figures are true they highlight “the absolute scandalous way in which the government is damaging our communities with a tax on hardship”.

Companies with un-let commercial property have faced added costs since the government ended its empty property tax relief.

“It is utter hypocrisy to be talking about helping business while making them pay empty rates, especially while hundreds of businesses are closing every week,” Ms Pearce noted

Empty offices in London and commercial property around the country have been affected.

Birmingham City Council Leader Mike Whitby has warned “the government’s current ‘tax now, ask questions later’ policy is threatening this growth and suffocating vital new developments”.