Skip to content

Decision details

Review of Non-Domestic Rates (Business Rates) Discretionary Relief Policy

Decision Maker: Executive Member for Finance and Resources

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: Yes

Purpose:

The purpose of this report is to note the acceptance of the funding made available to establish a Covid-19 Additional Relief Fund (CARF) scheme and amend the Council’s Non-Domestic Rates (Business Rates) Discretionary Relief Policy. The policy will be amended to include the extension of existing reliefs and the adoption of a new relief.

 

Decision:

That the Executive Member for Finance and Resources:

 

1.    Approves that the Non-Domestic Rates (Business Rates) Discretionary Relief Policy be amended, as detailed in the report, and set out in the appendix to the report; and

 

2.    Approves that the Council notes the acceptance of the level of funding being made available in relation to CARF in order to establish and administer the CARF Scheme.

 

 

Reasons for the decision:

At a time of unprecedented challenge and ongoing uncertainty, it is incumbent on the Council to protect its citizens, businesses, its own finances and the services it provides wherever possible. In adopting these fully funded Government reliefs, and in the process potentially awarding up to £14m of relief, (which equates to the potential sum of business rates the Council would otherwise have to recover if relief was not awarded) the Council is going a significant way to meeting its obligations.

 

Alternative options considered:

1.    Under the Council’s discretionary powers under Section 47 of the LGFA it could also choose to widen the scope of the Policy in order to;

 

  • to include businesses that under the relevant Government guidance are not intended to be eligible for relief;

 

  • to increase the level of relief above the levels set out in the Government guidance, and:

 

  • in relation to 2022/23 ERD increase the cash cap limits set by Government.

 

2.    However, if it were to do so, any awards of relief to those additional businesses or awards made at higher amounts, would not be funded by the Government and would have to be funded in full by the Council. By way of example, increasing the level of ERD and Nursery Discount Relief to 100% could cost the Council around £30m.

 

3.    Therefore, given the ongoing cuts to Government funding the Council has faced since 2012 and the increasing uncertainty that the Covid -19 pandemic will have on the Council’s short and longer term financial situation, it is not proposed that the Council uses its powers to expand the scope of these relief schemes.

Publication date: 04/05/2022

Date of decision: 25/04/2022

Effective from: 11/05/2022

Accompanying Documents: