Budget 2017

Public House Relief 

At the Spring Budget on 8 March 2017, the Government announced a new relief scheme for pubs. The scheme will be available to eligible occupied properties with a rateable value of less than £100,000. Under the scheme, eligible pubs will receive up to a £1,000 discount on their bill. The relief will have effect for 2017/2018 only and will cease on 31 March 2018.

The majority of pubs are independently owned or managed and will not be part of chains. However, where pubs are part of a chain, relief will be available for each eligible property in the chain, subject to meeting State Aid requirements. View more information on the State Aid website (external link).

The Government's policy intention is that eligible pubs should: 

  • 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. 

For these purposes, it will exclude:

  • restaurants 
  • festival sites 
  • cafes 
  • theatres 
  • nightclubs 
  • museums 
  • hotels 
  • exhibition halls 
  • snack bars 
  • cinemas 
  • guesthouses 
  • concert halls 
  • boarding houses 
  • casinos
  • sporting venues 
  • golf clubs 
  • music venues 

 

The Council will determine those cases where eligibility for the relief is unclear on a case by case basis. The Council may ask you to provide further information to support your application.

To apply for Public House Rate Relief
If you think that your business qualifies, you must apply for Public House Relief by downloading our Public House Relief Application Form (pdf), complete and return to businessrates@tamworth.gov.uk

Supporting Small Business Relief   

In the Spring Budget held on the 8 March 2017 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 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 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 in the transitional relief scheme.

In the first year of the scheme, this means all rate payers losing some of their small business rate relief will see the first increase in their bill capped at £600. The cash increase is £600 per year thereafter.

Those on the Supporting Small Businesses relief scheme whose 2017 rateable values are £51,000 or more will not be liable to pay the supplement (1.3p) to fund small business rate relief while they are eligible for the Supporting Small Businesses relief scheme.

As with all reliefs, the amount of relief awarded under the Supporting Small Businesses relief scheme will be recalculated in the event of a change of circumstances such as a change to the rateable value.

It is necessary for the Council to establish that the awarding of aid will not result in the ratepayer having received more than 200,000 Euros of de minimis aid and therefore applicants will be required to make a declaration in relation to State Aid in their application for relief. More information can be found on the State Aid website. A change of ratepayers will not affect eligibility for the  Supporting Small Business relief scheme but eligibility will be lost if the property falls vacant or becomes occupied by a charity or community amateur club.

To apply for Supporting Small Business Relief
The Council is contacting those ratepayers it considers eligible for the relief. If you think you are eligible for the Supporting Small Business relief you can download an application form here.

Discretionary Business Rate Relief Scheme   

At the Spring Budget held on the 8 March 2017 the Government also announced the establishment of a £300m discretionary fund over four years from 2017/2018 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 amount of relief available over the four years will be:-

  • 2017/2018 £203,000
  • 2018/2019 £104,000
  • 2019/2020 £43,000
  • 2020/2021 £6,000

The new discretionary business rate relief scheme will allow the council to provide some support to ratepayers facing increases in their bills as a result of the 2017 Revaluation. The Council is keen to identify ratepayers who may qualify for this relief and as such will look to encourage certain ratepayers to apply. The application process will be simplified wherever possible, but it will expect any ratepayers to provide such information as is required by the Council to support their application.

Relief under the scheme will be awarded under the following criteria:

  • That the ratepayer is in occupation of the property from 31 March 2017 onwards
  • There is an increase in the net rates charge as a result of revaluation from 2016 to 2017
  • The ratepayer or occupier is not a Local Government Agency or organisation providing a service to Local or Central Government 
  • All other eligible Mandatory and Discretionary Reliefs have been awarded to the ratepayer
  • The property is not vacant or subject to Empty Property Rates
  •  The ratepayer will be required to make an application for the relief
  • he ratepayer will be required to inform the Council of any change in circumstance which may affect the amount of relief awarded (e.g. moving out of the property)
  • Relief will be targeted to local businesses and not those that are national or multi-national in nature
  • Ratepayers who occupy after 1 April 2017 onwards will not eligible for relief
  • Relief may be granted for more than one premises as long as all other criteria is met

Relief will not be granted in respect of the following:

  • Bookmakers and gambling establishments
  • Pawnbrokers
  • Payday lenders
  • Hereditaments which have a 1 April 2017 rateable value of £200,000 or more
  • Ratepayers in receipt of Mandatory Relief
  • Properties where s44a relief has been applied for or awarded

Relief or further relief will not be provided where the ratepayer has an increase in rateable value after 1 April 2017 which increases the rate charge above the 1 April 2017 value 

The award of relief complies with EU law on State Aid: Discretionary Relief qualifies as State Aid. so ratepayers will be asked to declare that their company or business has not received more than 200,000 Euros in de minimis state aid in the last three years, and that granting relief under this scheme for this or any other property, whether within Tamworth or not, will not cause this limit to be exceeded. 

Completed application forms for 2017/18 would be required by the Council from each applicant by no later than 31 March 2018. 

The award will be as outlined in the Discretionary Rate Relief policy. The total value of all awards of relief will be limited to the maximum financial allocation to Tamworth Borough Council during any grant period. No applications can be accepted beyond the closing date within each financial year. Where awarded, Discretionary Business Rate relief will be granted only to the end of the financial year. All qualifying applications will need to be renewed annually if relief is to continue into the next financial year to ensure there has been no change in circumstances and to assess that applicants are still eligible. In all cases relief will end in the following circumstances (NB where eligibility ends during the financial year the relief will be pro rata to the last day of entitlement): The end of the statutory period for which relief may be allowed; The end of the financial year; The property becoming unoccupied; The ratepayer ceasing to be the person or organisation liable to pay non-domestic rates in respect of the property; The commencement of a further award in respect of the property; The council is unable to verify, following reasonable notice, that the area remains occupied; A change in rateable value excludes the ratepayer from entitlement.

To apply for Discretionary Business Rate Relief
If you would like to apply for business rate relief, you can do this online by downloading the Business rate Relief application form. Please contact the business rates team using the details below, quoting the reference on your business rates bill.

Contact the Business Rates Team at the Council by emailing businessrates@tamworth.gov.uk