The Estates Gazette has revealed that the government could review empty property rates legislation after a freedom of information request showed that the government was spending more than £50 million in tax per year on its own vacant properties, an amount which is expected to rise to £70 million for the current year 2012-2013.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, has requested the formation of a working group to produce proposals for how empty rates rules could be changed.
According to the Estates Gazette, proposals are expected to include a 3 year exemption from rates for new development to encourage regeneration and full rate relief for low rateable value properties which are typically occupied by smaller businesses. The working group is also expected to press for a full impact assessment of the property industry and wider economy.
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