Property tax burdening cities

A senior government adviser has warned that a tax imposed on empty commercial
buildings is threatening to derail regeneration projects in parts of Britain.

John Nicholls said property owners are demolishing empty buildings to avoid
paying the newly introduced tax, leaving many areas ‘resembling bomb sites’.

According to a report in
, some developers are leaving sites unfinished and abandoned rather
than risk liability for the tax.

Nicholls said the pre-emptive demolition work is already having an aesthetic
impact to stem from the tax.

‘Cities are beginning to look like broken teeth,’ he said.

Before the property tax was introduced, vacant offices and shops received
rate relief of 50% and industrial units gained full relief. Since its
implementation post-budget, all unused commercial property has to pay full
business rates after a three-month grace period for commercial premises and six
months for industrial property and warehouses.

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