Question 15/17


Question 15/17

Q. What is the amount that RDC has been allocated by the Government from the business rates refund money and how much of it has been passed on to local businesses and companies? (30/06/2017)

A. By business rate refund money I am assuming you are referring to the establishment of a £300m discretionary fund by the Government over four years from 2017/18 to support businesses. Nationally the £300m covers the four years from 2017/18 in the following amounts:

£175m in 2017/18

£85m in 2018/19

£35m in 2019/20

£5m in 2020/21

The maximum funding available to Rother over the four years is as follows:

£228,000 in 2017/18

£111,000 in 2018/19

£46,000 in 2019/20

£7,000 in 2020/21

This funding will be drawn down based on the actual amount of relief granted each year. General guidance regarding  the fund was issued by the Government after the 2017/18 business rate bills were issued. A proposed scheme to help businesses most affected by increases in their rates bill will be discussed by Cabinet at its meeting on 31 July 2017. Once approved any award will be back dated to 1 April 2017.

There were also other announcements by the Government to support businesses as follows:

Supporting Small Businesses

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. Initial terms for this scheme were published with on 9 March 2017. The transitional relief scheme (put in place following the national revaluation) does not provide support in respect of changes in relief and therefore some ratepayers are losing some or all of their small business or rural rate relief and may be facing very large percentage increases in bills from 1 April 2017. My officers are awaiting the necessary software upgrade from our supplier to enable this relief to be calculated and awarded. It is understood that 32 businesses will be positively affected by this change and again it will be backdated to 1 April 2017.

Support for Pubs

The Government 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 £1,000 discount on their bill. The relief will have effect for 2017/18. Guidance on the qualifying criteria was received in June 2017. It is excludes licensed restaurants, cafes and member clubs. Qualifying businesses will be written to shortly inviting them to apply for the relief which will be backdated to 1 April 2017. (12/07/2017)



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