New rate relief scheme can lead to cuts in Business Rates

Qualifying businesses in Sefton can expect to have their business rates cut as a result of a new Rate Relief Scheme announced by Sefton Council.

The rate relief will benefit businesses that have faced the steepest increases in their business rates as a result of the 2017 revaluation undertaken by the independent Valuation Office Agency.

A report was outlining the scheme was agreed at a full council meeting on September 21.

The Revaluation Relief Scheme is effective from April 1, 2017 and will be provided over 4 years but is cash limited based on funding from central Government. Sefton’s allocation of the Government funding for discretionary rate relief is to be £945,838 spread across the next 4 years.

Cllr Paulette Lappin

The assistance will be targeted at those facing significant increases in rates in lower value properties. Normally this would be properties with a rateable value of less than £200,000 with a rates increase of 12.5% or more.

Businesses likely to benefit from this scheme will be contacted by the Council and invited to make an on-line application.

Other new rate relief schemes for qualifying businesses have also been announced in Sefton:

• Up to £1,000 for one year only for Sefton’s pubs with a rateable value of up
to £100,000.
• Any business no longer eligible for Small Business Rate relief to have the rates increases capped at no more than £600 in the first year.
• £1,500 business rates discount for office space occupied by local newspapers for 2 years from April 1, 2017.

Businesses are not expected to make a formal application for these relief schemes but are being contacted by Sefton Council and simply required to confirm to the Council that the property is occupied and used for the purposes of the schemes.

Cllr Paulette Lappin, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member of Regulatory, Compliance and Corporate Services, said:

“I am pleased that Sefton Council has committed to ease the pressure on our local businesses with these new Government funded business rate reliefs.

“We can now target financial support to more businesses where the rates are having an impact on their businesses.”

Ratepayers who qualify for the rate relief are obliged to let the Council know if the relief they have received over a rolling three-year period exceeds the State Aid Limit of 200,000 euros.

For more information regarding the new rate relief schemes please visit sefton.gov.uk.

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