At the Spring Budget held on the 8 March 2017 the Government announced the establishment of a £300m discretionary fund over four years from 2017-2020 to support those businesses that faced the steepest increases in their business rates bills as a result of the 2017 revaluation.
Every billing authority in England was provided with a share of the £300m to support their local businesses. Billing authorities used 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 is:-
- 2017/2018 £314,000
- 2018/2019 £152,000
- 2019/2020 £63,000
- 2020/2021 £9,000
The new discretionary relief scheme allows 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 for 2020/21 on their own merits taking into account the following criteria:-
1. The ratepayer has experienced as a direct result of the 2017 revaluation, an increase in the amount they have to pay for 2020/21 compared to 2019/20 (after any other reliefs have been applied), that is unreasonable taking into account the ratepayers ability to pay.
2. The relevant property was occupied by the ratepayer on 31 March 2017 and 1 April 2017.
3. The ratepayer is not already in receipt of Discretionary Rate Relief or Support for Small Businesses Relief.
4. The award of relief complies with EU law on State Aid: Discretionary Business Rate 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 2020/21 financial year should be received by 31 March 2021.
Applications can still be made for 2019/20 financial year but cannot be considered after 30 September 2020.
The award will be as outlined in the Discretionary Business Rate Relief Scheme Policy (pdf)
The total value of all awards of relief will be limited to the maximum financial allocation to Wealden District Council during any grant period. Where awarded, Discretionary Business Rate relief will be granted only to the end of the financial year. 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 (pdf) or contact the business rates by using our online form and quoting the reference on your business rates bill.