Wealden District Council

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. In Wealden DC the amount of relief available over the four years will be:-

  • 2017/2018 £314,000
  • 2018/2019 £152,000
  • 2019/2020 £63,000
  • 2020/2021 £9,000

The new discretionary 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's Business Rates Team will consider applications on their own merits taking into account the following criteria:-

1. The ratepayer has experienced a financial increase, as a direct result of revaluation in the amount they have to pay for 2017-18, compared to their 2016-17 Wealden DC (after any other reliefs have been applied)

2. The relevant property was occupied on 1 April 2017. For those applicants who occupied during 2016-17 their part liability will be annualised before comparison with their 2017-18 liability to ensure they comply with the increase requirement.

3. The ratepayer is not already in receipt of Mandatory Relief, Discretionary Rate Relief or of Support for Small Businesses Relief (also announced in the spring budget) which limits increases on small properties caused by the loss of Small Business Rates Relief to £600.

4. 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 Wealden 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 attached policy The total value of all awards of relief will be limited to the maximum financial allocation to Wealden District Council during any grant period. No applications can be accepted beyond the closing date within each financial year. Where awarded, Revaluation Support 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.

Apply for Discretionary Rates Relief Fund If you would like to apply for business rate relief, you can do this online by downloading the 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.

Telephone: 01323 443387 Address: Wealden District Council, Business Rates, Council Offices, Vicarage Lane, Hailsham, BN27 2AX