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Changes to business rates to implement budget measures

Last Modified October 05, 2017

Changes to business rates in the borough are being implemented following government guidance about the relief schemes announced in the budget earlier this year and consultation locally.

The rateable values of all business properties are re-assessed by the Valuation Office Agency, usually every five years but in the latest case seven. The 2017 revaluation came into effect from the start of April and, in the spring budget, the Chancellor announced three measures to help reduce the impact to those who experienced significant increases.

Having now received central government guidance, introduced software changes and undertaken a consultation period, our policies for two of these schemes for business rates were approved by full council on 27 September and are now being implemented.  Full details are on our business rates budget measures page. 

Our Corporate Director, Sajida Bijle, commented: "The spring budget announcement about relief schemes for business rates required us to introduce some software changes, factor in government guidance and undertake a consultation period. Following agreement by full council, we've now reached a position where we are able to implement clear and fair policies for the business rates budget measures in the borough."

Brief details of the three schemes announced in the budget and how they are being implemented in Hertsmere:

Scheme 1 – The Supporting Small Businesses Scheme (SSB) has been introduced for businesses that face very large percentage increases in their rate bills due to the loss of small business rates relief. Its effect is to limit any increase in rates to £600 for the 2017/18 billing year.

Following central government guidance about Scheme 1, together with the development and testing of significant back office system changes, the small number of ratepayers within Hertsmere eligible for SSB were identified, had their accounts recalculated and were issued with reduced 2017/18 bills during September.

Scheme 2 – Funding for local authorities has been provided for a new discretionary relief scheme, called Revaluation Support. This aims to provide support for ratepayers in the borough with significantly higher bills as a direct result of the 2017 revaluation. Our policy can be found on our business rates budget measures page 

We will shortly be contacting local businesses that may be eligible to apply for this scheme. The application process will then run until the end of December at which point the number of successful applicants will be known and the value of relief to be awarded can be calculated and reduced bills sent out.

Scheme 3: This provides for a £1,000 business rate discount for pubs with a rateable value of up to £100,000 for one year from April 2017.

Pubs already identified as eligible for the £1,000 discount will automatically receive this discount and reduced bills will be sent out to them during October.

Details of the new Pub Relief scheme are also available on our business rates budget measures page - along with details of how to apply, for those who do not automatically receive the discount.

Anyone with queries can contact the Business Rates team on 020 8207 7409. 

Posted on Thursday 5th October 2017

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