Shop local this weekend

Free parking available in our car parks at Fakenham (Saturday 15th December) and Holt (Sunday 16th December).

At the Spring Budget held on the 8 March 2017 the Government announced the establishment of a £300m discretionary fund over four years from 2017/2018 to support those businesses that face the steepest increases in their business rates bills as a result of the 2017 revaluation.

The intention being that every billing authority in England will be provided with a share of the £300m to support their local businesses. Billing authorities have been expected to use their share of the funding to develop their own discretionary relief schemes to deliver targeted support to the most hard-pressed ratepayers. In North Norfolk the amount of funding awarded by Government to fund the relief available over the four years will be:-

Year

£

1 - 2017/2018

£527,000

2 - 2018/2019

£256,000

3 - 2019/2020

£105,000

4 - 2020/2021

£15,000

Total

£903,000

The new discretionary relief scheme will allow the council to provide support to ratepayers facing large increases in their bills as a result of the 2017 Revaluation.

The scheme agreed by the Members of North Norfolk District Council on 20th September has been designed so that

  • It helps the most ratepayers within the funding available,
  • It directly links the relief given with the actual amount a ratepayer’s bill has increased by, regardless of the size of their property,
  • It is straightforward to explain to ratepayers, and
  • It should be simple to administer (subject to the constraints of software systems).

The agreed scheme will compare the ratepayer’s charge on 31 March 2017 to their new charge on 1 April 2017.  The amount of this increase will then decide how much relief is awarded for year 1 of the scheme. 

The relief is not dependent on the size of the property, but solely on the increase in the rates bill.  This means that a small business that has seen a large increase in their rates bill will receive the same help as a large ratepayer also facing the same increase.  Relief will be awarded for individual accounts so a ratepayer with multiple properties will receive assistance for all their qualifying properties (subject to State Aid).  

The following scheme is proposed for Year 1:

Increase From:

Increase To:

Amount of Relief

£250

£499

£125

£500

£999

£250

£1,000

£1,999

£500

£2,000

£2,999

£1,000

£3,000

£3,999

£1,500

£4,000

£4,999

£2,000

£5,000

£5,999

£2,500

£6,000

£6,999

£3,000

£7,000

No Max

£3,500

Total

Key points from the proposed scheme are:  

  • It helps the most ratepayers within the available funding,
  • The scheme falls within our Year 1 funding allocation,
  • The amount of relief awarded is set at 50% of the lower value of the band. This means most ratepayers receive relief of between 25% and 50% of the increase in their rates bill
  • Ratepayers must have an increase of at least £250 to qualify for the Local Discretionary Relief,
  • There is no upper limit and increases of £7,000 and above will receive £3,500 relief, and
  • The amount of the increase is calculated after all other reliefs are awarded. This means ratepayers may qualify for multiple reliefs, for example Transitional Relief, Charitable Relief, or Small Business Rate Relief, as well as the new Local Discretionary Relief

 As well as meeting the key points above, awards of relief will be subject to meeting State Aid requirements. View more information on the State Aid website

The Council will determine those cases where eligibility criteria have been met and will issue amended bills shortly. However, recipients of State Aid will be required to declare that to us so that entitlement to the relief awarded can be reviewed. A form will accompany amended bills for this purpose.