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Rate relief

Rate relief

Partly Occupied Property Relief

A ratepayer is liable for the full non-domestic rate whether a property is wholly occupied or only partly occupied. Where a property is partly occupied for a short time, the local authority has discretion to award relief in respect of the unoccupied part.

Small Business Rate Relief

Ratepayers who are not entitled to another mandatory relief or are liable for unoccupied property rates and occupy a property with a rateable value which does not exceed £17,999 outside London, will have their bill calculated using the small business Non-Domestic Rating multiplier. (for 2017/18 this is £0.466) rather than the standard multiplier (for 2017/18this is £0.479).

2017 Scheme

This relief will double from 50 percent to 100 percent. The £6,000 and £12,000 thresholds will increase to £12,000 and £15,000 respectively. Therefore, those properties with a rateable value below £12,000 that meet the eligibility criteria will receive 100% relief.

Those properties with rateable values between £12,000 and £15,000 will receive tapered relief.

Generally this percentage reduction is only available to ratepayers who occupy either -

  •  a) One property, or
  • b) One main property and other additional properties providing those additional properties do not have a rateable value of over £ 2,899.

The rateable value mentions in (a) or the aggregate rateable value of all the properties mentioned in (b), must not exceed £19,999 outside London, on each day for which relief is sought

2010 – 2016 scheme.

Generally, if the sole or main property shown on the rating list with a rateable value which does not exceed £12,000, the ratepayer will receive a percentage reduction in their rates bill for this property of up to a maximum of 50% for a property with a rateable value of not more than £6000.

NB: The government announced in the Autumn Statement in 2015, that the doubling of the usual level of relief - to a maximum of 100% - will continue for a further year until 31st March 2017.

The government has introduced additional support to small businesses.

For those businesses that take on an additional property which would normally have meant the loss of small business rate relief, the Government has confirmed that they will be allowed to keep that relief for a period of 12 months.

Where a ratepayer meets the eligibility criteria and has not received the relief they should contact their local authority. You will be asked to complete a form to confirm your eligibility and you must note that it is a criminal offence to claim this relief if you have no entitlement to this. If we subsequently become aware that relief should not have been granted, it will be withdrawn and criminal proceedings may be taken.

Provided the ratepayer continues to satisfy the conditions for relief which apply at the relevant time as regards the property and the ratepayer, they will be automatically continue to receive relief in each new valuation period.

Certain changes in circumstances will need to be notified to the Local Authority by a ratepayer who is in receipt of relief. The changes which should be notified are :

  • a) The ratepayer taking up occupation of an additional property, and
  • b) An increase in the rateable value of a property occupied by the ratepayer in an area other than the area of the local authority which granted the relief.

Hardship Relief

The local authority has discretion to give relief in special circumstances please see the attached policy and application form for more details.

Rate Relief to Charitable and Other Organisations

Registered Charities

The Local Government Finance Act 1988 provides that relief from rates must be granted on premises used wholly or mainly for charitable purposes by a registered, excepted or exempt charity. The amount of this relief is 80% of the rates payable. Any organisation which believes it is entitled to this relief can download an application form detailed below or contact our partner authority by writing or telephoning on the details shown below.

The council has decided that it will not grant any discretionary relief to registered charities within its area that are shops or offices used wholly or mainly for charitable purposes as to do so would create advantage over other organisations in the district who operate in the same environment.

The council has also decided that it will not grant any discretionary relief to voluntary aided, voluntary controlled and grant aided schools.

The council has set a limit of £4000 for the amount of discretionary relief to be granted per application.

Where mandatory relief has been awarded to any organisation it will not be necessary to re-apply annually. However, the organisation must report any change of circumstances and will, from time to time, be required to confirm in writing the continuing entitlement to registered charity status.

Other Organisations

Under the 1988 Act, the council may grant relief of up to 100% on premises occupied for non-profit making purposes by any of the following organisations:

  • a) an institution or other organisation whose main objectives are philanthropic or religious or concerned with social welfare, science, literature or the fine arts;
  • b) a club, society or other organisation using the premises for the purposes of recreation.

In applying its discretion to grant relief, the council will take account of the following factors:

  • a) The contribution which the organisation makes to the area of West Lindsey and whether the organisation serves mainly the people living in the area of West Lindsey.
  •  b) To what extent the facilities provided are open to all members of the community and the level of any charges which are made for the facilities.
  • c) To what extent the organisation actively encourages membership from groups of people such as the young or the elderly who are in particular need of support.
  • d) The facilities provided and the means by which they have been provided, such as voluntary contribution, grant aid etc. including the extent of the grant aid and other external funding.
  • e) Whether the facilities included commercial activities such as licensed bars and to what extent these are used compared with other facilities provided, and to what extent these are subsidised by the other facilities provided.
  • f) Whether the organisation is affiliated to or providing facilities similar to those provided by local or national bodies.

If you consider your organisation may qualify for discretionary and/or mandatory rate relief under this policy, please download the form detailed below or contact our partner authority by writing or telephoning on the details shown below.

Relief for Local Newspapers

The Government is providing funding to local authorities so that they can provide a discount worth up to £1,500 a year for 2 years from 1st April 2017, to office space occupied by local newspapers. This is up to a maximum of one discount per local newspaper title and per hereditament, and up to state aid limits. The relief will be delivered through local authority discretionary discount powers (under section 47(3) of the Local Government Finance Act 1988).

Eligibility criteria for this relief is set out in a guidance note: "The case for a business rates relief for local newspapers", which can be obtained at: www.gov.uk/government/consultations/the-case-for-a-business-rates-relief-for-local-newspapers.

Revaluation 2017 and Transitional Arrangements

All rateable values are reassessed at a general revaluation. The 2017 revaluation takes effect from 1st April 2017. Revaluations make sure each ratepayer pays their fair contribution and no more, by ensuring that the share of the national rates bill paid by any one ratepayer reflects changes over time in the value of their property relative to others. Revaluation does not raise extra money for Government.

Whilst the 2017 revaluation will not increase the amount of rates collected nationally, within this overall picture, over 7 out of 10 ratepayers will receive a reduction or no change in their bill and some ratepayers will see increases.

For those that would otherwise see significant increases in their rates liability, the Government has put in place a £3.6 billion transitional relief scheme to limit and phase in changes in rate bills as a result of the 2017 revaluation. To help pay for the limits on increases in bills, there also have to be limits on reductions in bills. Under the transitional scheme, limits continue to apply to yearly increases and decreases until the full amount is due (rateable value times the appropriate multiplier). The scheme applies only to the bill based on a property at the time of the revaluation. If there are any changes to the property after 1st April 2017, transitional arrangements will not normally apply to the part of a bill that relates to any increase in rateable value due to those changes. Changes to your bill as a result of other reasons (such as changes to the amount of small business rate relief) are not covered by the transitional arrangements.

The transitional arrangements are applied automatically and are shown on the front of your bill. Further information about transitional arrangements and other reliefs may be obtained from [insert name of billing authority] or the www.gov.uk/introduction-to-business-rates.

More information on the 2017 revaluation can be found at www.gov.uk/introduction-to-business-rates/revaluation.

Business Rates

Shared Service
PO Box 1257
Lincoln
LN5 5PQ

Tel: 01522 873342

Email:  revenues@lincoln.gov.uk

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