City of York Council
Council tax

Changes to council tax from 1 April 2013

The government, as part of the Local Government Finance Bill and broader localisation agenda, have made some technical changes to council tax.

These include:

  • removing some exemptions (classes A and C) and replacing these with a locally awarded discount (50%)
  • removing the Second Home Discount, currently a 10% discount, from 1 April 2013
  • introducing an empty home premium for all properties that have been empty for two or more years, with council tax charged at 150% instead of 100%.

Frequently asked questions

Why is this change happening?

The government's aim is that these changes may keep the overall level of council tax down.

Who has agreed this?

The power to make these changes has been approved in parliament, as part of the Local Government Finance Bill enacted on 1 November 2012.

The level of discount awarded was approved by City of York Council Cabinet on 6 November 2012.

What impact will this have on my bill next year?

If you are applying for a reduction in your bill which prior to the 1 April 2013 would have allowed you a Class A or a Class C exemption, you will be charged at 50% of the full council tax bill for a period of up to 12 months for Class A and up to six months for Class C.

If you own a second home the current 10% reduction in your bill will cease from 1 April 2013 and you will be liable for 100% of the council tax for the property.

If you have an empty property that has been empty for over two years you will be charged at 150% of the current council tax banding.

I can't afford it to pay my bill, what do I do?

This is a local tax and must be paid. We may be able to extend your payment plan to reduce the financial burden but payment must be made within the current financial year.
Should you experience difficulties contact us for further help and advice.

You may also wish to contact the Citizens Advice Bureau for further help and advice on overall debt counselling.  

Are all councils doing this?

Yes, but the level of the discount may vary from one authority to another.

How do I complain about this?

We have a duty to comply with statutory and other legislative requirements placed on us. Complaints about the change in legislation should be made to your MP.

If you wish to complain about the level of discount applied, this is set and approved by City of York Council Cabinet. You may make your views known by contacting our complaints team at

My exemption starts on the 1 Jan 2013, as it started before the 1 April 2013, do I still get 100% until my six months is up?

No. You are entitled to a full exemption up to and including 31 March 2013. From 1 April 2013 you will be charged at the discounted rate of 50% for the balance of the period.

I am a landlord and I get 10% between tenants, will I still get this?

No. If your property is furnished but empty it is liable for a full charge from 1 April 2013.  

I currently get the Second Home Discount in York, but I am the sole occupant in my main home, can I claim the Single Person Discount (SPD) for my York address instead?

You can only claim SPD for the property deemed as your main home. If you feel that your property in York has become your main home, then tell us. Once we have checked the status of your other home with the relevant local authority, we will award the SPD if appropriate.

I have a second home elsewhere and will get a 20% discount as from the 1 April 2013, why won't I get the same in York?

The discounts and exemptions affected by the changes in the Local Government Finance Bill are subject to local discretionary decisions. The level of discount that can be awarded on a second home is between 0% and 50%.

The level of discount awarded will vary from one local authority to another depending on their local decisions.

What will happen if I refuse to pay?

We will pursue any monies owed in line with council tax legislation. This may mean your account being taken through court and costs added to the outstanding balance due.

Once a liability order is granted by the court we have certain other powers we may take to recover the monies owed.

If you are having difficulties in paying your council tax you should contact us for further information and advice.

Pages in Council tax discount

  1. Council tax discounts and exemptions
  2. Exempt properties
  3. People with disabilities
  4. Second homes
  5. Single occupancy discount
  6. Student discount and exemptions
  7. You are here: Changes to council tax from 1 April 2013
  8. Council Tax – Locally Awarded Discounts

Local Taxation Section (Council Tax)


Telephone: 01904 551558

Fax: 01904 551190

West Offices, Station Rise, York, YO1 6GA

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