At Parliamentary Question Time yesterday (Thursday), Galloway and West Dumfries MSP Alex Fergusson questioned the minister for local government on the subject of the 200 percent council tax charge on properties that have been empty for 12 months or more.
Speaking from the Parliament Mr Fergusson said: “I have been contacted by many constituents who have been taken unaware by the Council’s decision to charge 200% Council Tax on properties that have been empty for more than 12 months. In Dumfries and Galloway there are currently over 926 such properties, 663 of which have been on the market for over two years with no sign of a buyer. I do not believe that this charge was intended to penalise people who are genuinely unable to sell their houses and the Minister confirmed as much in his response.
“He also confirmed that councils have the ability under the legislation to create further categories which can be exempted from the increased charge. I have already encouraged Dumfries and Galloway Council to look at creating such a category for those who have been caught out by a stagnant housing market over which they have no control, and I am optimistic that it will do so before October, when the first of the 200% Council Tax bills are due to be issued.”