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Changes from 1st April 2017

Spring Budget 2017 – New Reliefs

Additional Support for Business Ratepayers Spring Budget 2017

The Spring Budget announced a number of measures, which benefited Business Ratepayers as detailed below:

Support for Small Businesses

The Government has introduced a relief to support small business who have lost some or all of their small business rates due to a change in their rateable value (as a result of the 2017 revaluation) and are now facing a large increase in their bills. This relief will ensure that the increase per year in the bills of these ratepayers is limited to the greater of:

  • a cash value of £600 per year (£50 per month). This cash minimum increase ensures that those ratepayers currently paying nothing or very small amounts are brought into paying something, or

  • the matching cap on increases for small properties (with a rateable value of £20,000 or less) in the transitional relief scheme

Affected ratepayers have been contacted and relief applied in accordance with eligibility. Note that entitlement to this relief is subject to state aid limits.

Support for Pubs

The Government has also introduced an up to £1,000 business rate discount for occupied 'Pubs' with a rateable value of up to £100,000, subject to state aid limits for businesses with multiple properties. This relief will only apply for 2017/18.

Affected ratepayers have been contacted and relief applied in accordance with eligibility. Note that entitlement to this relief is subject to state aid limits.

However, by way of background information, in-line with the Government’s policy intention, eligible 'Pubs' are considered to:

  • be open to the general public

  • allow free entry other than when occasional entertainment is provided

  • allow drinking without requiring food to be consumed

  • permit drinks to be purchased at a bar

Again, in line with Government policy intentions, the following premises should not be considered for the discount:

  • restaurants

  • cafes

  • nightclubs

  • hotels

  • snack bars

  • guesthouses

  • boarding houses

  • sporting and music venues

  • festival sites

  • theatres

  • museums

  • exhibition halls

  • cinemas

  • concert halls

  • casinos

Discretionary Relief Scheme

At the Spring Budget, the Government announced the establishment of a £300m discretionary fund over four years from 2017/18 to support businesses in their area. The £300m will cover the four years from 2017/18. Dudley have been allocated a share of this fund.

Relief will be awarded to businesses where their business rates charge has increased by more than 1% as a result of the 2017 Revaluation, however, we will not award relief to the following:

  • Ratepayers who have faced an increase of less than 1% as a result of the 2017 revaluation exercise

  • Empty properties

  • Charities

  • Chains

  • NHS properties

  • Dudley MBC properties and precepting bodies including Police and Fire.

Affected ratepayers have been contacted and relief applied in accordance with eligibility. Note that entitlement to this relief is subject to state aid limits.

In his statement on the 23 November 2016, the Chancellor made a number of announcements on business rates:

Revaluation 2017 and Transitional Arrangements

The Valuation Office Agency allocates all non-domestic (business) properties with rateable values so authorities can calculate the Business rate charges. The 2017 revaluation takes effect from 1st April 2017 and all properties will have their rateable value assessed on the valuation date of 1st April 2015. The purpose of revaluation is not to change the amount of money collected in rates nationally, but to make sure that individual rateable values reflect the changes that have taken place in the property market since the last revaluation.

To phase-in the effects of such changes, under Government legislation, transitional arrangements limit the amount by which business rates can increase or decrease from one financial year to the next.

The Transitional 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 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

  • Small Business Rate Relief (SBRR) – from 2017-18, Small Business Rate Relief will permanently double from 50% to 100%. The £6,000 and £12,000 thresholds will increase to £12,000 and £15,000 respectively. Therefore, those with rateable values below £12,000 that meet the eligibility criteria will receive 100% relief and those with rateable values between £12,000 and £15,000 will receive tapered relief.

    The threshold for the standard business rates multiplier will also increase from £18,000 (£25,500 in London) to a rateable value of £51,000.

    For more information or to claim SBRR then go to www.dudley.gov.uk/business/business-rates/business-rates-reductions

  • Empty Properties – the threshold for 100% empty relief has increased from £2,599 to £2,899. We will automatically factor in this change for affected properties.

  • Local Newspapers – here the Government will introduce a £1,500 discount for office space occupied by local newspapers, up to a maximum of one discount per local newspaper title and per property, and up to state aid limits, for 2 years from 1 April 2017.