Rate reliefs

Charity and Discretionary Relief

Charities are entitled to relief from rates on any non-domestic property that is wholly or mainly used for charitable purposes. Relief is given at 80 per cent of the bill. Local councils have discretion to give further relief on the remaining bill.

We also have discretion to give relief on all or part of any rate bill for property occupied by certain non-profit making bodies. 

Please contact us if you feel that you may be entitled to mandatory relief, or to make a claim for discretionary relief.

Charity and Registered Community Amateur Sports Club

Charities and Registered Community Amateur Sports Clubs (CASCs) are entitled to 80% 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.

We also have discretion to give further relief on the remaining bill

Please contact us if you feel that you may be entitled to mandatory relief or to make a claim for discretionary relief.

Hardship Relief

We have discretion to give hardship relief in specific circumstances.  These are:

  • Where the ratepayer would sustain hardship if the authority did not do so, and
  • It is reasonable for the authority to do so, having regard to the interests of persons subject to its council tax, as any relief granted is subsidised by the residents of Newark and Sherwood.

Please contact us if you feel that you wish to apply for hardship relief.

Download a Hardship Relief Form (PDF File, 295kb) 

Partly Occupied Property

A ratepayer is liable for the full non-domestic rate whether a property is wholly occupied or only partly occupied.  Where a property is partly occupied for a short time, we have discretion to award relief in respect of the unoccupied part. 

Please contact us to apply for partly occupied rate relief

Rural Rate Relief

Certain types of business in rural villages, with a population below 3000 may qualify for rate relief of 50% (to 31/3/17) or 100% from 1/4/17. Businesses that qualify for this relief are the sole general store or the sole post office in the village, provided it has a rateable value of up to £8500; any food shop with a rateable value of up to £8500; and the sole pub and the sole petrol station in the village provided it has a rateable value of up to £12500.

Please note that the property has to be occupied to qualify for this relief. Local councils have discretion to give further relief on the remaining bill on such property.

Non-domestic rates rural settlement list 2015/16

Under the terms of the Local Government and Rating Act 1997 the council is required to compile and maintain a rural settlement list.
This is for the purpose of administering the village shop rate relief scheme.
A rural settlement must:

  • be within a rural area as defined under the Housing (Right to Acquire) (Designated Rural Areas in the South West) Order 1997, and
  • have a population of not more than 3000 on the preceding 31 December

Small Business Rate Relief

This relief is designed to help small businesses reduce their business rate bill.

Small businesses with a rateable value of up to £50,999 may qualify for a reduction on their rate bill. The relief is available to ratepayers occupying single properties in England. Ratepayers who occupy one main property and other additional properties which have rateable values less than £2,899 and the aggregate rateable value of all the properties is under £19,999 may also apply for the relief.

The available relief is

• Rateable Value (RV) below £12,000 – 100%
• Rateable Value (RV) between £12,000 and £15,000 – percentage declining on a sliding scale.
• Rateable Value (RV) between £15,000 and £50,999 – No relief, but the lower small business rate relief multiplier will be used to calculate the bill

Qualifying Criteria:

• If the property is already in receipt of Mandatory Relief, Small Business Rate Relief will not apply.
• If the property is unoccupied Small Business Rate Relief will not apply.
• An application form must be completed to initially claim the relief.
• The application must be signed by the ratepayer or a person authorised to sign on behalf of the ratepayer.
The cost of the relief is paid for by all other ratepayers as a supplement on their rate bills.

Any changes to the occupation or rateable value of the property during the financial year may affect the eligibility for small business rate relief.

Please contact us to request an application form for small business rate relief or to receive further information and guidance.

Transitional Rate Relief

Property values can change significantly between each revaluation.  Transitional arrangements help to phase in the effects of these changes by limiting increases in bills. To help pay for the limits on increases in bills, there also have to be limits on reductions in bills.  Under the transition scheme, limits continue to apply to yearly increases and decreases until the full amount is due (rateable value times the appropriate multiplier).

The scheme applies only to the bill based on a property at a 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 the bill that relates to any increase in rateable value due to those changes.  Any transitional adjustments are shown on the front of your bill.

2017 new business rate relief schemes

In the Spring Budget the Chancellor announced three new business rate relief schemes. Our software supplier is currently waiting for legislation to be enacted before making system changes that will allow us to send revised bills to the effected businesses.

The details of the three schemes are as follows:

  • Supporting small businesses
  • New discretionary relief scheme
  • New business rate relief scheme for pubs

Supporting small businesses

In the Spring budget the Chancellor announced that a scheme of relief would be made available to those ratepayers facing large increases as a result of the loss of small business or rural rate relief.

The transitional relief scheme does not provide support in respect of changes in reliefs. Therefore, those ratepayers who are losing some or all of their small business or rural rate relief may be facing very large percentage increases in bills from 1 April 2017.

The supporting small businesses relief will help those ratepayers who as a result of the change in their rateable value at the revaluation are losing some or all of their small business or rural rate relief and, as a result, are facing large increases in their bills. To support these ratepayers, the supporting small businesses 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.
  • the matching cap on increases for small properties in the transitional relief schemes.

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 those businesses that face the steepest increases in their business rates bills as a result of the 2017 revaluation. The intention is that every billing authority in England will be provided with a share of the £300m to support their local businesses.

Billing authorities will be expected to use their share of the funding to develop their own discretionary relief schemes to deliver targeted support to the most hard-pressed ratepayers. The £300m will cover the four years from 2017/18.

  • £175m in 2017/18
  • £85m in 2018/19
  • £35m in 2019/20
  • £5m in 2020/21

Support for pubs

The Government has also announced a new relief scheme for pubs that have a rateable value of below £100,000. Under the scheme, eligible pubs will receive a £1000 discount on their bill. DCLG plans to publish a consultation on the operation of the relief scheme for pubs shortly. The relief will have effect for 2017/18.

Local authorities will be expected to use their discretionary relief powers (under section 57 of the Local Government Finance Act 1988, as amended) to grant this new relief for pubs in line with the relevant eligibility criteria. They will be compensated for the cost of granting the relief through a Section 31 grant from the government. No new legislation will be required to deliver the scheme.

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