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  4. Rate relief

Rate relief

Rate relief is not granted automatically. It is the responsibility of eligible businesses to apply for rate relief. Please ensure that you make an application if you think you are eligible.

New Retail Discount 

The government has introduced a new relief scheme for retail properties for 2019 to 2020 and 2020 to 2021, that have a rateable value less than £51,000. Under the scheme, eligible ratepayers will receive one third discount for 2019 to 2020 and 50 per cent discount for 2020 to 2021 off their daily chargeable amount after any Mandatory or Discretionary Relief.  

If this discount is not showing on your bill, but you believe you are eligible, please call us on 01594 812532.

Extra help with rates in 2020

The rateable values of all non-domestic properties were reassessed by the Valuation Office Agency (VOA); with the new values coming into effect from 1 April 2017. 

In the Spring Budget, the Chancellor announced three new government funded reliefs to help reduce the impact of business rate increases following the revaluation.  

  • Supporting small businesses
  • Local Revaluation Support Scheme

Supporting small businesses

This scheme supports small businesses which, as a result of the revaluation, lost some or all of their small business rate relief or rural rate relief and as a result are facing an increase in their bill of over £600.00 per year.

Local Revaluation Support Scheme

A discretionary funding pot of £169,000 was made available to the council in 2017 to 2018 to design its own local relief scheme for businesses most affected by increased rate bills.  The ratepayer must have been in occupation on 31 March 2017. A discretionary funding pot of £82,000 is available to the council in 2018 to 2019. A discretionary funding pot of £34,000 is available to the council in 2019 to 2020. A discretionary funding pot of £5000 is available to the council in 2020 to 2021; the allocation of this funding will be processed as soon as possible

More information on these schemes:

State Aid

The award of these reliefs must comply with EU law on State Aid. Amended bills and letters are due to be issued to those businesses identified as being eligible. The letter requires you to confirm that you have not received any other State Aid that exceeds in total €200,000, under the De Minimus Regulations EC 1407/2013. When considering the total amount of State Aid you have received, you should include any other Business Rates Relief you are being granted for premises other than the one to which your application relates to. 

However, we encourage all business to check their eligibility by calling our Business Rates team on 01594 812532. Further information on State Aid law is available on the GOV.UK website.

Small business rate relief

From 1 April 2017 businesses occupying premises with a rateable value of less than £51,000 will automatically have their rates calculated using the small business rate multiplier. Eligible businesses occupying premises with a rateable value of less than £15,000 can apply for Small Business Rate Relief to receive a further discount on their rates bill.

To qualify for Small Business Rate Relief, ratepayers must either:

  • occupy one property; or
  • one main property and other additional properties, providing those additional properties have rateable values less than £2,899 and the total rateable value of all the properties is under £20,000.

Small Business Rate Relief is protected for up to 12 months for businesses that take on an additional property over these values.

Calculation of small business rate relief

From 1 April 2017:

  • eligible businesses in premises with a rateable value of up to £12,000 will be entitled to 100% relief on their rates bill or
  • relief that will gradually reduce from 100% to 0% for properties with a rateable value between £12,001 and £15,000

Businesses with rateable values under £15,000 must apply for Small Business Rates Relief in order to benefit.

Local Newspaper Relief

The government has introduced a £1,500 business rates discount for office space occupied by local newspapers, up to a maximum of one discount per local newspaper title and per heritable property, for 2 years from 1 April 2017. The discount is subject to state aid levels.

The Government has recently announced that this relief will be extended for a further year up to 31st March 2020. This relief has now been extended up to 31st March 2025.

Rate relief for rural businesses

Certain types of business in rural settlements with a population below 3,000 may qualify for mandatory rural rate relief. To qualify the property must be occupied and be the only:

  • general store or post office with a rateable value of less than £8,500
  • public house or petrol filling station with a rateable value of less than £12,500
  • or a food shop with a rateable value of less than £8,500

The Government announced in the Autumn Statement 2016 that it intends to increase mandatory rural rate relief to 100 per cent from April 2017. For the 2017 to 2018 year this relief will be granted to eligible ratepayers as a discretionary relief and is subject to state aid.

Charity and registered Community Amateur Sports Club (CASC) relief

Charities and registered Community Amateur Sports Clubs are entitled to 80 per cent relief where the property is occupied by the charity or club and is wholly or mainly used for charitable purposes or as a registered community amateur sports club. The council has discretion to give further relief on the remaining bill.

To register as a CASC visit the HM Revenues and Customs website or call 0845 302 0203.

Discretionary relief

The council has discretion to give relief on all or part of any rate bill for property occupied by certain non-profit making bodies. We can also consider giving rate relief in cases of hardship or where part of a property is unoccupied for a very short period.

Interaction with other reliefs

If you are eligible for mandatory charitable or rural rate relief and small business rate relief you will only receive the charitable or rural rate relief.