Last year, the Government introduced a new business rates relief to help businesses affected by the national business rates revaluation and provided a set allocation of funding to each local authority to deliver this.
Test Valley Borough Council set up a scheme in 2017 to ensure that the increase to business rates was limited to 8% and at the Council’s Cabinet meeting tomorrow, Members will be asked to consider changes to the scheme to ensure that the full allocation of funding is used to support local businesses.
Finance Portfolio Holder Councillor Peter Giddings said: “One of our corporate objectives is to ensure that Test Valley is a great place to work and do business. The Revaluation Relief policy focuses on providing assistance to local businesses in the borough.
“All businesses within the borough that are eligible for relief have been re-billed and a total of £262k has been awarded to 264 of them. This means that the Council has £60,000 left to award in 2017/18. Any unspent amounts have to be returned to central government and cannot be carried forward to a future financial year.
“As a result, we have reviewed our existing policy so that we remain true to our principles of supporting businesses in Test Valley and make sure we fully utilise the funding available. “
The report proposes two changes to the current policy:
• Reduce the increase in year-on-year bills from 8% to 7%.
• Increase the maximum payment for relief from £5,000 to £5,500 per property.
If the changes are approved, they would not only increase the amount of relief already awarded to certain businesses, but would potentially also give relief to 16 new businesses.