Wednesday, November 15, 2017

News: Further rates support on the way for Rotherham businesses

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Announced by the Government in March, further support for firms impacted by rising business rates is set to be rolled out by the Council in Rotherham. Small businesses could claim back as much as £6,600 from their rates bill.

Business rates are a tax based on property values and help pay for public services. Local councils collect Non Domestic Rates (business rates) from the owners and occupiers of commercial properties on behalf of central Government.

This week, the cabinet and commissioners at Rotherham Council approved a scheme designed to support small and medium businesses who have seen their Non Domestic Rates bills increase significantly as a result of an increase in the Rateable Value of their properties in the 2017 revaluation.

Whilst the property industry and businesses continue to call for much needed reform to the whole business rates system, the chancellor announced in the 2017 budget, a package of measures to help those businesses adversely affected by recent revaluations.

Small business rate relief continues with eligible properties with a rateable value of £12,000 and below receiving 100% relief. Eligible properties with a rateable value between £12,000 and £15,000 will also benefit from tapered business rates relief.

Further measures include a one-off discount for pubs and a cap of £50 a month on increases for businesses coming out of small business rate relief. Rothbiz reported on progress on the schemes, seven months after the announcement.

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Under the latest scheme, businesses will receive support if they have seen their net bill, after other reliefs, increase by at least 7.5%. Targeted at small businesses, it only applies to properties with a Rateable Value of £100,000 and below.

A Council report said that: "In order to ensure as many businesses as possible may be supported a maximum award of £5,000 per property per annum will be awarded." 90% of the relief will be awarded in this financial year, 25% next year, 10% in 2019/20 and 2.5% in 2020/21.

No relief will be awarded to large national and multi-national companies or chains, including franchises, and small businesses will need to apply for the relief and have been occupiers in their property for over a year.

Like the other reliefs, Rotherham Council will be compensated by central Government. £490,000 has been allocated to Rotherham businesses and it will go back to Whitehall if it is not claimed.

The report did add that the maximum award figures may be revised prior to the start of a financial year in order to ensure that the maximum relief is awarded without exceeding Rotherham Council's allocated funding.

Images: Rowland Burkitt

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