Rate relief is not granted automatically. It is the responsibility of eligible businesses to apply for rate relief. Please ensure that you make an application if you think you are eligible.
Extra help with rates in 2017
The rateable values of all non-domestic properties were recently reassessed by the Valuation Office Agency (VOA); with the new values coming into effect from 1 April 2017.
In the Spring Budget, the Chancellor announced three new Government funded reliefs to help reduce the impact of business rate increases following the revaluation.
- Supporting small businesses
- New business rate relief scheme for pubs
- Local Revaluation Support Scheme
Supporting small businesses
This scheme supports small businesses which, as a result of the revaluation, lost some or all of their small business rate relief or rural rate relief and as a result are facing an increase in their bill of over £600.00 per year.
Assistance for public houses
This relief applies for one year only to occupied properties. Eligible properties with a rateable value of less than £100,000 will receive up to £1,000 relief.
Your licensed premises must be open to the general public without requiring membership or residency, allow free entry, allow drinking without requiring food to be consumed and permit drinks to be consumed in person at the bar without relying on table service.
The Government have recently announced that this relief will be extended for a further year, up to 31st March 2019.
Local Revaluation Support Scheme
A discretionary funding pot of £169,000 was made available to the council in 2017/18 to design its own local relief scheme for businesses most effected by increased rate bills. The ratepayer must have been in occupation on 31st March 2017. A discretionary funding pot of £82,000 is available to the council in 2018/19. A discretionary funding pot of £34,000 is available to the council in 2019/20.
For further information on these new schemes please:
- view Discretionary business rate reliefs Cabinet report 14 September 2017
- view Local Discretionary Business Rates Relief Scheme 2017/2018
- view Discretionary business rate reliefs Cabinet report 15 February 2018
- view Discretionary business rate reliefs cabinet report 17 January 2019
This discount is available to occupied retail properties with a rateable value of less than £51,000 in each of the years 2019/20 and 2020/21. The value of the discount is one third of the bill after all mandatory & discretionary reliefs.
The award of these reliefs must comply with EU law on State Aid. Amended bills and letters are due to be issued to those businesses identified as being eligible. The letter requires you to confirm that you have not received any other State Aid that exceeds in total €200,000, under the De Minimus Regulations EC 1407/2013. When considering the total amount of State Aid you have received, you should include any other Business Rates Relief you are being granted for premises other than the one to which your application relates to.
However, we encourage all business to check their eligibility by calling our Business Rates team on 01594 812532. For further information on State Aid law please:
- visit Gov.uk website
Small business rate relief
From 1 April 2017 businesses occupying premises with a rateable value of less than £51,000 will automatically have their rates calculated using the small business rate multiplier. Eligible businesses occupying premises with a rateable value of less than £15,000 can apply for Small Business Rate Relief to receive a further discount on their rates bill.
To qualify for Small Business Rate Relief, ratepayers must either:
- occupy one property; or
- one main property and other additional properties, providing those additional properties have rateable values less than £2,899 and the total rateable value of all the properties is under £20,000.
Small Business Rate Relief is protected for up to 12 months for businesses that take on an additional property over these values.
Calculation of small business rate relief
From 1 April 2017:
- eligible businesses in premises with a rateable value of up to £12,000 will be entitled to 100% relief on their rates bill or
- relief that will gradually reduce from 100% to 0% for properties with a rateable value between £12,001 and £15,000
Businesses with rateable values under £15,000 must apply for Small Business Rates Relief in order to benefit.
Local Newspaper Relief
The Government has introduced a £1,500 business rates discount for office space occupied by local newspapers, up to a maximum of one discount per local newspaper title and per hereditament, for 2 years from 1 April 2017. The discount is subject to state aid levels.
The Government has recently announced that this relief will be extended for a further year up to 31st March 2020.
Rate relief for rural businesses
Certain types of business in rural settlements with a population below 3,000 may qualify for mandatory rural rate relief. To qualify the property must be occupied and be the only:
- general store or post office with a rateable value of less than £8,500
- public house or petrol filling station with a rateable value of less than £12,500
- or a food shop with a rateable value of less than £8,500
The Government announced in the Autumn Statement 2016 that it intends to increase mandatory rural rate relief to 100 per cent from April 2017. For the 2017/18 year this relief will be granted to eligible ratepayers as a discretionary relief and is subject to state aid.
Charity and registered Community Amateur Sports Club (CASC) relief
Charities and registered Community Amateur Sports Clubs are entitled to 80% relief where the property is occupied by the charity or club and is wholly or mainly used for charitable purposes or as a registered community amateur sports club. The Council has discretion to give further relief on the remaining bill.
To register as a CASC please:
- visit the HM Revenues and Customs website
- call 0845 302 0203
The Council has discretion to give relief on all or part of any rate bill for property occupied by certain non-profit making bodies. We can also consider giving rate relief in cases of hardship or where part of a property is unoccupied for a very short period.
Interaction with other reliefs
If you are eligible for mandatory charitable or rural rate relief and small business rate relief you will only receive the charitable or rural rate relief.