Suffolk Coastal 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 based 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 10% 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 10%. 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 Geoff Holdcroft, cabinet member for Economic Development at Suffolk Coastal District Council, said: “The discretionary business rates fund announced by the Chancellor in March was as a result of a concerted campaign by local authorities and business groups to ensure those businesses hit the hardest by the rise in rates received the recognition and support required to ensure they were not adversely impacted by disproportionately high increases in rates.
“This demonstrates the power that local councils and the business community have when working together and has resulted in local businesses paying far less in business rates this year and the year after than they would have originally done.”
Suffolk Coastal 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 SCDC Discretionary Business Rates Relief Consultation.
Postal responses should be sent to arrive at the following address by Monday 4 September - Financial Services, Suffolk Coastal District Council, East Suffolk House, Riduna Park, Station Road, Melton, Suffolk, IP12 1RT.