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NNDR Discretionary Relief Consultation 2017

Business Rates Revaluation 2017

At revaluation, the Valuation Office Agency adjusts the rateable value (RV) of business properties to reflect changes in the property market.

The most recent revaluation came into effect in England and Wales on 1st April 2017, based on RVs as at 1st April 2015. Generally there is a revaluation every 5 years, but this time there was a 7 year gap since the last revaluation in 2010.

Spring Budget 2017

On 8th March 2017 the Government announced three new business rate reliefs to help businesses most affected by the revaluation:

· Supporting Small Businesses Relief – a scheme to ensure no business losing Small Business Rate Relief or Rural Rate Relief as a result of the revaluation faces an increase of more than £600 in the first year. 

· Support for Pubs – a £1,000 rebate for one year for eligible pubs with a RV of under £100,000.

· Local Discretionary Relief Scheme (LDRS) – a £300 million pot to be distributed to the hardest hit businesses under locally designed criteria. This is also known as Revaluation Support which this consultation document focuses on.

Allocated Funding for the Local Discretionary Relief Scheme

The £300m total national support for this relief and the share for Kettering are split over four years from 2017/18 as follows:

Year

Total Pot

Kettering Allocation

2017/18

£175 million

£100,000

2018/19

£85 million

£41,000

2019/20

£35 million

£17,000

2020/21

£5 million

£2,000

The funding is provided by the Government on the basis that:

· Authorities will provide support only to those ratepayers who are facing an increase in their bills following revaluation and,

More support will be provided to ratepayers that:

· Face the most significant increases in bills, and 

· Occupy lower value properties

Proposed Scheme Principles

The Council proposes to apply the following general rules:

· Implement a scheme which applies a % level of relief to small local businesses hardest hit by the revaluation that makes maximum use of the funding available.

· Provide a level of assistance under the scheme which is limited to the funding provided.

· Review the scheme each year in line with the reduced funding.

· Recalculate eligibility for Revaluation Support in the event of a change to the rating list that affects an eligible property, whether retrospective or otherwise. For example, this might happen if the RV is changed because of a successful proposal or appeal.

· Reserve the right not to award additional Revaluation Support in the event of a further increase in a property’s RV, having regard to the total amount of Government funding being made available for revaluation.

· Apply these proposals for the year 1st April 2017 to 31st March 2018 only. 

· Automatically apply relief wherever possible where the eligibility criteria are met in order to minimise bureaucracy for local businesses.

· Apply a minimum award level of £25.

· Cease the relief if there is a change in occupier.

Qualifying Criteria

In order to fulfil both the objectives of the funding and the intended principles above, the Council is proposing to apply the following guidelines:

· Award relief only where a qualifying ratepayer’s bill has increased solely due to the 2017 revaluation.

· Assist small local businesses who do not get any form of mandatory or discretionary charitable or rural rate relief.

· Award only to ratepayers who were in occupation on 31st March 2017, otherwise they will not have been affected by the revaluation. 

· Apply to assessments with a 2017 RV of under £200,000, which is consistent with the funding methodology.

· Award to ratepayers that do not exceed State Aid limits for relief. This is unlikely to be an issue if awards are made only to small local businesses. State Aid must not exceed in total €200,000 in any 3 year rolling period, including any other rates relief, other than exemptions, transitional or mandatory reliefs, under the De Minimis Regulations EC 1407/2013. Further information on State Aid law can be found at https://www.gov.uk/state-aid.

Exclusions

The Council proposes to exclude the following from any relief entitlement:

· Unoccupied properties.

· Ratepayers taking up occupation on or after 1st April 2017 as they cannot be deemed to be facing an increase.

· Properties which were not in the rating list on 1st April 2017 so relief will not apply to properties that are entered into the list retrospectively

· Ratepayers in receipt of mandatory or discretionary charitable or rural rate relief.

· Properties occupied by any County, District or Parish Councils.

· Properties occupied by ratepayers that are either centrally or locally funded, such as educational establishments or the NHS.

· Properties occupied by banks, building societies or any other financial institutions.

· Properties held by the Official Receiver.

· Properties occupied by multinational or national organisations. 

· Ratepayers in receipt of Supporting Small Businesses Relief.

Consultation

We would welcome your views on these proposals so please e-mail your comments to businessrates@kettering.gov.uk by Thursday 7th September. Please use Business Rates Consultation as the subject. 

Alternatively, if you think you may be entitled to any of the new reliefs then please let us know by using the same e-mail address. Please provide as much information as possible to support your application and include a daytime contact telephone number in case of any queries. 

Get in touch with Kettering Borough Council

Email: customerservices@kettering.gov.uk. Telephone: 01536 410333.

Full contact details. Send us your feedback.