Issue - decisions

Discretionary Business Rate Scheme 2020/21

26/02/2020 - Discretionary Business Rate Scheme 2020/21

The Chief Finance Officer advised the Cabinet that it was expected that the Government’s March 2020 Budget would announce additional Discretionary Business Rate Relief’s which will require the Policy to be amended for 2020/21.

 

A draft 2020/21 Policy document was attached at appendix 1 to the report. This currently assumes that all the recommendations are adopted, but this document will only be finalised after the budget on 11th March 2020.

 

The Budget Council meeting on 26th February 2020 will be asked to make decisions on the recommendations in the report.

 

Alternatives considered:

The changes to the Policy had been determined by the Government and the Council had been directed to implement those changes, therefore no alternatives were considered.

 

Resolved:

1.     The Cabinet notes an increase to 50% of Retail Relief from 1st April 2020, which is due to be announced by the Government in the 2020 budget and will be fully funded by Section 31 grant.

2.     The Cabinet notes the introduction of Pub Relief from 1st April 2020. This will be announced by Government in the 2020 budget and will be fully funded by Section 31 grant.

3.     The Cabinet notes the extension of the £1,500 business rate discount for local newspapers’ office space for 2020/21. This will be announced by Government in the 2020 budget and will be fully funded by Section 31 grant.

4.     The Chief Finance Officer, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Finance, be given delegated authority to finalise the 2020/21 Discretionary Business Rate Relief Policy following the Government’s 2020 budget which will take place on 11 March 2020. This includes the specific items in 2.1, 2.2 and 2.3, but any other announcements that may need to be incorporated.

5.     The Cabinet recommends to the Budget Council meeting on 26th February 2020, approval of relief of £90 to qualifying businesses who experienced a large increase in their rateable value following the 2017 revaluation. This scheme was introduced by Government in the 2017 budget for a period of 4 years from 1st April 2017. This will be fully funded by Section 31.

 

Reasons for the decision:

The changes to the Policy were due to be announced by the Government in the 2020 budget. The change outlined at paragraph at 2.5 of the submitted report, had been introduced by Government in the 2017 budget. All the changes must be administered by the Council using discretionary powers.

Eligible for Call-in: No