This is a statutory service that deals with the administration,
collection and enforcement of Business Rates.
Whilst Business Rates are collected
by the District Council, the amounts payable are not set by us. We
purely act as a collection agency for central government.
What are Non-Domestic Rates?
Non-Domestic Rates, or business rates,
collected by local authorities are the way that those who occupy
non-domestic property contribute towards the cost of local
services. Under the business rates retention arrangements
introduced from 1st April 2013, authorities keep a proportion of
the business rates paid locally. This provides a direct financial
incentive for authorities to work with local businesses to create a
favourable local environment for growth since authorities will
benefit from growth in business rates revenues. The money, together
with revenue from council tax payers, revenue support grant
provided by the Government and certain other sums, is used to pay
for the services provided by your Council and other local
authorities in your area. Further information about the business
rates system, including transitional and other reliefs, may be
obtained at http://www.gov.uk/
What is a Rateable Value?
Apart from properties that are exempt from
Business Rates, each non-domestic property has a rateable value
which is normally set by the valuation officers of the Valuation
Office Agency (VOA), an agency of the Inland Revenue. It draws up
and maintains a full list of all rateable values, available on
their website at www.voa.gov.uk
value of your property is shown on the front of this bill. This
broadly represents the yearly rent the property could have been let
for on the open market on a particular date. For the revaluation
that came into effect on 1st April 2010, this date was set at 1st
The valuation officer may alter the value if the circumstances of
the property have changed. The ratepayer (and certain others who
have an interest in the property) can also appeal against the value
shown in the list if they believe it is wrong.
Further information about making appeals
can be found on the VOA website
or from the Wolverhampton
Valuation Office, Crown House, Birch Street, Wolverhampton, WV1
Successful appeals against values shown in the rating list that
came into force on 1st April 2010 will normally be backdated
to that date, although there are exceptions to this. Further
information about these arrangements may be found on the VOA website
What is a National Non-Domestic Rating
The Council works out the business rates bill by
multiplying the rateable value of the property by the appropriate
multiplier. There are two multipliers: the standard non-domestic
rating multiplier and the small business non-domestic rating
multiplier. The former is higher to pay for small business rate
relief. Except in the City of London where special arrangements
apply, the Government sets the multipliers for each financial year
for the whole of England according to formulae set by
Generally, the multipliers increase in line with
inflation according to the Retail Price Index in September of the
preceding year. The Government announced in the Autumn Statement
2013 that it will cap the RPI increase in business rates to 2% in
Between revaluations, the multipliers change
each year in line with inflation and to take account of the cost of
small business rate relief. In the year of revaluation the
multipliers are rebased to account for overall changes to total
rateable value and to ensure that the revaluation does not raise
extra money for Government. Similarly, the change in the
revaluation date to 2017 has no effect on the total amount of
revenue raised from business rates. The current multipliers are
shown on the front of this bill.
What are Transitional Arrangements?
All rateable values are generally
reassessed every five years at a general revaluation to ensure
bills paid by any one ratepayer reflect changes over time in the
value of their property relative to others. The current rating list
is based on the 2010 revaluation. The Government has confirmed that
the next revaluation has been postponed until 2017. This will
provide greater stability for businesses to encourage economic
growth. Five yearly revaluations will continue from 2017.
Property values normally change a
good deal between each revaluation. Transitional arrangements help
to phase in the effects of these changes by limiting increases in
bills. To help pay for the limits on increases in bills, there also
have to be limits on reductions in bills. Under the transition
scheme, limits continue to apply to yearly increases and decreases
until the full amount is due (rateable value times the appropriate
The scheme applies only to the bill based on a property at the time
of the revaluation. If there are any changes to the property after
1st April 2010, transitional arrangements will not normally apply
to the part of a bill that relates to any increase in rateable
value due to those changes.
The government announced in the Autumn
Statement on 3rd December 2014 that it will extend the current
transitional relief scheme for properties with a rateable value up
to and including £50,000.
This is a discretionary local discount and
will be available for one year only.
The award of such discounts is considered
likely to amount to State Aid. State Aid law is the means by
which the European Union regulates state funded support to
businesses. Providing discretionary relief to ratepayers is
likely to amount to State Aid. However the extension of
transitional relief will be State Aid compliant where it is
provided in accordance with the De Minimis Regualtions
The De Minimis regualtions allow an
undertaking to receive up to €200,000 of De Minimis aid in a
three year period (consisiting of the current financial year and
the two previouis financial years). If you are receiving, or have
received, any 'De Minimis' aid granted during the current or
two previous financial years (from any source), you should inform
the Council immediately with details of the aid
Further information about transitional arrangements and other
reliefs may be obtained using the contact details below.
Do I have to pay if my property is
Business rates will not be payable in the
first three months that a property is empty. This is extended to
six months in the case of certain industrial properties. After this
period rates are payable in full unless the unoccupied property
rate has been reduced by the Government by order.
After the initial three or six month rate-free period expires,
empty property will be liable for 100% of the basic occupied
business rate, unless it:
1. Qualifies for the new zero rate
provided by the Rating (Empty Properties) Act 2007.
From 1 April 2008 the business rate liability of empty property
that is held by a charity and appears likely to be next used for
charitable purposes, or that is held by a community amateur sports
club and appears unlikely to be next used for the purposes of the
club, will be reduced from 10% of the basic occupied rate to
2. Qualifies for an exemption from
business rates under the National Non-Domestic Rate (Unoccupied
current permanent exemption for industrial property will be reduced
to six months, the Government proposes to preserve the majority of
the other existing exemptions unchanged. However, the Government is
consulting on possible reforms to the exemption for empty property
that is listed or subject to a building preservation notice; and on
the possibility of extending the exemption from business rates for
empty property held by companies in liquidation to that held by
companies in administration.
3. Unoccupied new
The Government has introduced a new
temporary measure for unoccupied new builds from October 2013.
Unoccupied new builds will be exempt from unoccupied property rates
for up to 18 months (up to state aid limits) where the property
comes on to the list between 1st October 2013 and 30th September
2016. The 18 month period includes the initial 3 or 6 month
exemption and so properties may, if unoccupied, be exempt from
non-domestic rates for up to an extra 15 or 12 months.
Can I get my property taken out of the
rating list altogether?
If your property is not capable of
beneficial occupation - for instance, if it is in poor condition
and cannot be economically repaired – the Valuation Office Agency
may judge that it should be taken out of the rating list
altogether. However, please be aware that if the state of your
property is damaged for the purposes of avoiding the business rate,
under new anti-avoidance legislation to be introduced by the
Government the Valuation Office Agency will be required to
disregard the change in the property's state when assessing its
rateable value. So for instance, if the roof is removed from an
empty property for the purposes of avoiding the business rate, it
may be valued as if the roof had not been removed.
The Government is currently consulting on the detailed operation of
these new anti-avoidance measures.
How will my Business Rates liability be
affected if my property is only partly occupied?
A ratepayer is liable for the full
non-domestic rate whether a property is wholly occupied or only
partly occupied. Where a property is partly occupied for a short
time, the Council has discretion in certain cases to award relief
in respect of the unoccupied part. Full details can be obtained
from the Council.
Ratepayers do not have to be represented
in discussions about their rateable value or their rates bill.
Appeals against rateable values can be made free of charge.
However, ratepayers who do wish to be represented should be aware
that members of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS
– see below) and the Institute of Revenues Rating and
Valuation (IRRV - see below) are qualified and are regulated by
rules of professional conduct designed to protect the public from
misconduct. Before you employ a rating adviser, you should check
that they have the necessary knowledge and expertise, as well as
appropriate indemnity insurance. Take great care and, if necessary,
seek further advice before entering into any contract.
Can I appeal against the
changes in my Business Rates liability?
The changes in business
rate liability arising from the reforms to empty property relief
are not in themselves grounds for appeal. However, if you disagree
with the rateable value that appears in the current rating list
entry for your property, under the existing arrangements you may
challenge it by making a 'proposal' against it to the Valuation
Office Agency. Your rights of appeal are not affected by the
reforms to empty property relief and you can contact this authority
or the Valuation Office Agency for further information about the
arrangements for making proposals.
If you feel you have received a good service we would be
pleased to hear from you. However, if you are not happy with
the service you have been provided, please contact Tracey
Richards on telephone (01902) 696622 or e-mail mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
to discuss any issues you may have. After
contacting us if you still feel that your enquiry has not been
dealt with appropriately and wish to make a formal complaint,
please click on this link Complaints about the Council