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In the Spring Budget held on the 8 March 2017 the Chancellor announced that a scheme of relief would be made available to those ratepayers facing large increases as a result of the loss of small business or rural rate relief.
The transitional relief scheme does not provide support in respect of changes in reliefs. Therefore, those ratepayers who are losing some or all of their small business or rural rate relief may be facing very large percentage increases in bills from 1 April 2017.
The supporting small businesses relief will help those ratepayers who as a result of the change in their rateable value at the revaluation are losing some or all of their small business or rural rate relief and, as a result, are facing large increases in their bills. To support these ratepayers, the supporting small businesses relief will ensure that the increase per year in the bills of these ratepayers is limited to the greater of:
- a cash value of £600 per year (£50 per month). This cash increase ensures that those ratepayers currently paying nothing or very small amounts are brought into paying something, or
- the matching cap on increases for small properties in the transitional relief scheme.
In the first year of the scheme, this means all rate payers losing some of their small business rate relief or rural rate relief will see the first increase in their bill capped at £600. The cash increase is £600 per year thereafter.
Those on the Supporting Small Businesses relief scheme whose 2017 rateable values are £51,000 or more will not be liable to pay the supplement (1.3p) to fund small business rate relief while they are eligible for the Supporting Small Businesses relief scheme.
As with all reliefs, the amount of relief awarded under the Supporting Small Businesses relief scheme will be recalculated in the event of a change of circumstances such as a change to the rateable value.
It is necessary for the Council to establish that the awarding of aid will not result in the ratepayer having received more than 200,000 Euros of de minimis aid and therefore applicants will be required to make a declaration in relation to State Aid in their application for relief. More information can be found on the State Aid website.
A change of ratepayers will not affect eligibility for the Supporting Small Business relief scheme but eligibility will be lost if the property falls vacant or becomes occupied by a charity or community amateur club.