Decision Maker: Cabinet
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: Yes
Is subject to call in?: Yes
The Cabinet gave consideration to a report of the Director of Finance which presented to the Cabinet an update of the Council’s Discretionary Rate Relief policy which took into account Central Government funded Non-Domestic Rate Reliefs and reliefs provided by local discretion.
The proposed amendment to the 2018/19 Discretionary Rate Relief Policy were:
· A revision to the policy to reflect the extension of the Central Government funded Pub Relief scheme for the 2018/19 financial year.
· Additional guidance in respect of claims for Discretionary Rate Relief arising from applications for relief under the Localism Act 2011. This guidance had been included to formalise the process of the Revenues Team consulting with the Council’s Investment Team on receipt of a Discretionary Rate Relief application for new startup businesses.
· A requirement for ratepayers requesting Discretionary Rate Relief to provide supporting evidence within 21 days of their initial application. This requirement had been included to provide transparency to ratepayers and officers involved within the decision making process of how applications should be processed if the applicant fails to provide the necessary supporting information.
· An adjustment to the policy to reintroduce a requirement for potentially eligible ratepayers to apply for Discretionary Revaluation Relief. The revised policy also reflected the reduced Central Government grant funding for Discretionary Revaluation relief for 2018/19.
Following feedback from ratepayers the opportunity had also been taken to reformat the policy into sections based on the type of reliefs available. It was believed this would help organisations to follow the guidelines more closely when preparing an application for relief. This was set out on a new contents page provided on page 2 of the revised 2018/19 policy.
Other than in respect of the issues outlined above, the policy was unchanged from 2017/18.
Option 1 –Do Nothing. If you Council chose not to adopt the revised policy, the Council would continue using the current policy in place and the Council could not award the extensions of pub relief into the 2018/19 year or introduce amendments to the Revaluations Relief scheme.
Option 2 – Approve the amendments to the Discretionary Rate relief policy. This would ensure that the Council had a clear, transparent procedure in place to administer Non-Domestic Rate Reliefs including the local newspaper discount and 100% full fibre infrastructure relief.
RESOLVED – That the proposed discretionary Rate Relief Policy for 2018/19 detailed at appendix 1 to the report be approved.
Publication date: 27/03/2018
Date of decision: 26/03/2018
Decided at meeting: 26/03/2018 - Cabinet
Effective from: 04/04/2018