BANKS, slum owners and people with second homes will be expected to stump up more than £2m to help plug the city’s council tax black hole.
The cash will go towards making up the £6.2m deficit that will be left when the government makes a 10% cut in the amount of money it gives the city to cover support for people who do not have to pay the full charge.
Banks will be expected to start paying their way and stump up for homes they have repossessed.
City leaders said the move showed that all sections of society will be expected to share the cost of running Liverpool, following the news that 44,000 low-income households in the city would be losing council tax benefit under the new system.
Currently, some owners in the city enjoy discounts on the council tax charge, but by scaling back or scrapping these perks the council should bring in up to £2.3m.
The biggest haul will come from the owners of properties that are empty and uninhabitable.
The council expects to bring in £1.2m from reducing from six months to six weeks the amount of time the owners receive a 100% discount.
Landlords of furnished houses or flats that are unoccupied will now be liable to pay 75% rather than 50% of the charge so the council can bring in an extra £200,000. Deputy mayor and finance chief Cllr Paul Brant said: “We are confident that we will be able to achieve these collections, as ownership of property is easy to establish.
“We are going to continue to try to ensure that those who can afford to pay make a fair contribution towards helping with the cost of running the city.”
Around £19,000 will come from mortgage lenders, who are currently exempt from paying, while the 247 people who have property in the city that is classed as a “second home” will have their discount reduced from 10% to 5% to generate £16,000.
But the council is expected to stop short of charging a “premium” on empty homes owned by developers in housing market renewal areas, prompting opposition figures to claim city bosses were not going far enough.
The report to go before cabinet states that “these (955) long-term vacant properties should be exempted from the premium as redevelopment work is planned or is already under way.”
Liberal group leader Cllr Steve Radford said: “I don’t think there should be different standards for different types of property owner.
“That could possibly leave the council vulnerable to a legal challenge, but I doubt they’ve even thought of that. It should be one simple approach across the board.”