Waveney District Council is calling upon the business community to have their say on a local business rates discretionary rates relief scheme which is designed to help businesses hardest hit by the business rates revaluation earlier this year.
The Chancellor announced as part of the Budget on 8 March 2017, a £300m fund over four years from 2017-18 for local authorities and the Council has now been given the responsibility for designing its own scheme which suitably distributes relief in the fairest way possible.
The Government has calculated how much each local authority receives on the number of businesses that have rateable values less than £200k and who experienced increases in their business rates bills of 12.5% or more (after other reliefs have been applied) as a result of the 2017 revaluation.
The Council’s proposal for its scheme aims to go further and offer relief to businesses with rateable values less than £200k whose rate increases were 9% or more.
If the proposed scheme is introduced, eligible businesses would receive relief to reduce the increase in their business rates bill to a maximum of 9%. Any remaining funding following the allocations to eligible businesses would be allocated to those businesses experiencing extreme hardship as a result of the revaluation, through a discretionary ‘Hardship Fund’.
Cllr Bruce Provan, cabinet member for Resources at Waveney District Council, said:
“We’re pleased that due to the local relief we already offer businesses in East Suffolk, we’re able to lower the threshold to 9% to support more businesses affected by the rates revaluation exercise.
“We now want to hear from the business community on their views on the proposed scheme as soon as possible to give certainty to businesses who have already received their business rate bills. We would particularly welcome their views on whether leftover funding should be used as a ‘Hardship Fund’ which would be allocated to businesses on a case by case basis.”
The full proposal for the scheme can be read online at: www.eastsuffolk.gov.uk/business/business-rates/discretionary-business-rate-relief-waveney
Waveney District Council is keen to reach a formal decision on the scheme design and launch a scheme as soon as possible to give certainty to businesses, who have already received their Business Rates bills.
Responses to this proposal should therefore be sent by 3 September 2017 to firstname.lastname@example.org clearly marked as WDC Discretionary Business Rates Relief Consultation.
Postal responses should be sent to arrive at the following address by Monday 4 September - Financial Services, Waveney District Council, Riverside, 4 Canning Road, Lowestoft, Suffolk, NR33 0EQ