Tax on empty shops brings in millions

COUNCILS in Oxfordshire have levied more than £37m in business rates from empty shops and offices in the county over the last three years.

Information obtained by the TaxPayers’ Alliance shows owners of commercial properties are still shelling out millions.

It comes after exemptions from business rates were abolished in 2007, and the figures have prompted a call for their re-introduction.

In Oxford, the city council collected £2,830,604 in business rates on empty properties in 2010/11 and £2,404,885 in 2011/12.

West Oxfordshire was the authority which took the most, raking in more than £11m over three years including £8,777,297 in 2009/10.

Cherwell District Council has taken more than £9.5m over the last three years, while South Oxfordshire District Council has collected £4,818,274.

And Vale of White Horse District Council has brought in over £7m.

Business rates are collected by district councils on behalf of central government.

Comments (8)

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2:15pm Wed 10 Apr 13

Danny A says...

Taxing owners of empty property makes complete sense. This gives the owners incentive to put the property to use or sell it to someone who can do something with it.

Think about it: without the tax owners are free to blighting areas by sitting on empty property, whilst they hold out for an inflated rent or capital gain.

If government had any sense they would increase this tax, while at the same time lowering taxes on actual business activity such as VAT and employers national insurance.
Taxing owners of empty property makes complete sense. This gives the owners incentive to put the property to use or sell it to someone who can do something with it. Think about it: without the tax owners are free to blighting areas by sitting on empty property, whilst they hold out for an inflated rent or capital gain. If government had any sense they would increase this tax, while at the same time lowering taxes on actual business activity such as VAT and employers national insurance. Danny A
  • Score: 1

3:45pm Wed 10 Apr 13

Andrew:Oxford says...

Buy-to-let & private rentals should also be subject to business rates. With a regular revaluation exercise too.

Clearly there would be no council tax on a property where business rates were being collected, but there would be no discounts or exemptions offered either.
Buy-to-let & private rentals should also be subject to business rates. With a regular revaluation exercise too. Clearly there would be no council tax on a property where business rates were being collected, but there would be no discounts or exemptions offered either. Andrew:Oxford
  • Score: -3

4:54pm Wed 10 Apr 13

Oxonian says...

I wonder if the City Council charged itself for the empty shops in the Covered Market - left empty because of the Council's greedy rents.
I wonder if the City Council charged itself for the empty shops in the Covered Market - left empty because of the Council's greedy rents. Oxonian
  • Score: 3

8:12pm Wed 10 Apr 13

abingdonguy says...

Then they must be making a fortune from empty shops in Abingdon and Didcot..
Then they must be making a fortune from empty shops in Abingdon and Didcot.. abingdonguy
  • Score: 0

8:12pm Wed 10 Apr 13

abingdonguy says...

Then they must be making a fortune from empty shops in Abingdon and Didcot..
Then they must be making a fortune from empty shops in Abingdon and Didcot.. abingdonguy
  • Score: 0

8:03am Thu 11 Apr 13

bart-on simpson says...

Knowing this, the news regarding the refusal of the Council to have a turf accountancy at Headington Shops last week to take over the eyesore of the old printer cartridge place because of the Council quota regulations on A1/B2 etc becomes clear. Judge, jury and felon all rolled into one.
Knowing this, the news regarding the refusal of the Council to have a turf accountancy at Headington Shops last week to take over the eyesore of the old printer cartridge place because of the Council quota regulations on A1/B2 etc becomes clear. Judge, jury and felon all rolled into one. bart-on simpson
  • Score: 0

8:04am Thu 11 Apr 13

bart-on simpson says...

Knowing this, the news regarding the refusal of the Council to have a turf accountancy at Headington Shops last week to take over the eyesore of the old printer cartridge place because of the Council quota regulations on A1/B2 etc becomes clear. Judge, jury and felon all rolled into one.
Knowing this, the news regarding the refusal of the Council to have a turf accountancy at Headington Shops last week to take over the eyesore of the old printer cartridge place because of the Council quota regulations on A1/B2 etc becomes clear. Judge, jury and felon all rolled into one. bart-on simpson
  • Score: 0

8:04am Thu 11 Apr 13

bart-on simpson says...

Knowing this, the news regarding the refusal of the Council to have a turf accountancy at Headington Shops last week to take over the eyesore of the old printer cartridge place because of the Council quota regulations on A1/B2 etc becomes clear. Judge, jury and felon all rolled into one.
Knowing this, the news regarding the refusal of the Council to have a turf accountancy at Headington Shops last week to take over the eyesore of the old printer cartridge place because of the Council quota regulations on A1/B2 etc becomes clear. Judge, jury and felon all rolled into one. bart-on simpson
  • Score: 0

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