Last Modified July 25, 2013
National non-domestic rates
The national non-domestic rates, or business rates, collected by us are the means by which businesses and others who occupy non-domestic property make a contribution towards the cost of local services.
Until now, the rates have been pooled by central government and redistributed to local councils according to the number of people living in the area.
From 1 April 2013 funding arrangements for business rates changed. Instead of business rates going straight to the Treasury, local authorities now get to keep a proportion of their growth in business rates.
The scheme allows local authorities to keep 50% of business rates income including growth. You can find out more about these changes in the Plain English Guide to Business Rates Retention.
Together with revenue from council taxpayers, revenue support grant provided by the government and certain other sums, business rates revenue is used to pay for the services provided by us and other local authorities in your area.
Apart from properties that are exempt from business rates, each non-domestic property has a rateable value, which is set by the valuation officers of the Valuation Office Agency (VOA), an agency of the Inland Revenue.
It draws up and maintains a full list of all rateable values: Valuation Office Agency. The rateable value of your property will be shown on the front of your bill. The rateable value broadly represents the yearly rent the property could have been let for on the open market on a particular date. This date has been set as 1 April 2008.
The valuation officer has to maintain the list and may alter the value if he or she believes that the circumstances of the property have changed. The ratepayer (and certain others who have an interest in the property) can also appeal against the value shown in the list if they believe it is wrong. Further information on the grounds for making an appeal, and on how to make one, can be found on the Valuation Office Agency website or from your local valuation office.
If your rateable value changes as the result of your appeal, and the amount you have to pay is altered because of this, we will send you a revised bill.
In the meantime you must keep up your payments as shown on your original bill. If you don't, we will take recovery action against any arrears that build up. We will refund, with interest, any difference between the amount you have already paid and any reduction resulting from a successful appeal, but we will not pay interest if a liability order has been issued against you.
The effect of successful appeals against values shown in the rating list will normally be backdated to the beginning of the financial year in which they are made, although there are exceptions to this. Further information about these arrangements may be obtained from the Department of Communities and Local Government .
For more information visit the Business Link website.