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Spring Budget 2017

In the Spring Budget the chancellor announced that additional schemes of relief would be made available to help support small or rural businesses and pubs further to the impact of large increases in the 2017 revaluations.

Supporting Small Businesses Relief

A scheme of relief has been made available to those ratepayers facing large increases as a result of the loss of small business or rural rate relief from 1 April 2017.

The current transitional relief scheme does not provide support in respect of changes in reliefs, only substantial increase/decreases in rateable value. 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 minimum 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 (Year 1 5%, Year 2 7.5%, Year 3 10%, Year 4 15% and year 5 15% + Inflation)

£1,000 Pub Support Relief

The government has also announced a new relief scheme for pubs that have a rateable value of below £100,000. Under the scheme, eligible pubs will receive a £1,000 discount on their bill. The relief will have effect for 2017/18 only.

Please note that if you are eligible for one of the above relief’s your annual bill will be delayed until April. Your first instalment will fall due on 1 May 2017 which will mean your final instalment will be 1 February 2018 instead of 1 January 2018.

Discretionary Relief Scheme

The Government announced the establishment of a £300m national discretionary fund over four years from 2017/18 to support those businesses that face the steepest increases in their business rates bills as a result of the 2017 revaluation. The government have indicated that support under the funding provided, should be considered for businesses that have rateable values of under £200,000 and have seen an increase of greater than 12.5% in their gross liabilities from 2016/17 to 2017/18 and these have been made conditions of the allocated grant funding. The table below shows the national annual provision of funding and the amount allocated to South Gloucestershire:

Year National South Gloucestershire Council
2017/18 £175m £438,000
2018/19 £85m £213,000
2019/20 £35m £88,000
2020/21 £5m £13,000
Total £300m £752,000

Local authorities can determine how this fund will be targeted and administered to support those businesses and locations within their area that are in the greatest need. The relief will be administered through billing authorities’ discretionary relief powers under section 47 of the Local Government Act 1988.

Please see DRR Relief Scheme attachment for details of the scheme.

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