Business rates support

2. Discretionary Relief scheme

The government announced the establishment of a £300 million discretionary fund over four years from 2017/18. This fund supports those businesses that face the steepest increase in their business rates bills as a result of the revaluation that came into effect from 1 April 2017.

We are expected to use our share of the funding to develop our own discretionary relief scheme to deliver targeted support to the most hard pressed businesses.

Our share of the fund is:

• 2017/18 - £336,870
• 2018/19 - £164,000
• 2019/20 - £67,000
• 2020/21 - £10,000

Our Scheme

Relief will be applied in circumstances where:

  • the rateable value of the property for which relief is being claimed is £200,000 or less; and
  • the rates payable has increased for 2017/18 compared to 2016/17 as a direct result of the revaluation; and
  • the increase in rates payable is £200 per year or more; and
  • the relevant property is occupied; and
  • the property is a nursery or a retail property subject to a large transitional surcharge

Relief will not be applied in circumstances where:

  • the property is unoccupied
  • there is evidence that the property is subject to an intermittent occupation scheme where the ratepayer is trying to mitigate their ongoing tax liability
  • the property is a national company, national charity or public body; and
  • properties wholly or mainly used as betting shops, payday loan shops, established for gambling purposes, pawnbrokers, shisha bars or sex shops

Award period

The first award period will be for a maximum of one year ending on the 31 March 2018. We will review entitlement in March 2018 and 2019 and award further relief for periods of one year only if you qualified in the previous financial year.

We will include the relief automatically on your annual bill for 2018/19 and 2019/20 if we consider that you qualify based on the criteria set out in our local scheme.

Amount of relief

  • 2017/18 – 70% of the increase in rates payable resulting from revaluation
  • 2018/19 – 35% of the increase in rates payable resulting from revaluation
  • 2019/20 – 15% of the increase in rates payable resulting from revaluation

Changes in liability

Changes in the rateable value may occur during the course of the year either as a result of material changes to the rateable value of the property or as a result of an appeal. Where this happens the relief awarded will be recalculated on the basis of new liability. This may result in an increase in award or an overpayment of award. Where an overpayment occurs the money will be recovered.