Rural Rate Relief
Some properties in rural areas can now receive help with their non-domestic rates.
What is a rural settlement?
A rural settlement is defined as a settlement with a population of no more than 3,000 which is wholly or partly within a council's defined rural settlement area.
The Rural Rate Relief Scheme
The scheme is split into two elements. The first is a mandatory relief scheme that allows 50 per cent relief from rate liability. This can be awarded to the only post office, the only general store, the only public house, the only petrol filling station, or a food shop in a 'designated rural settlement'.
The rateable value of the property at the beginning of the rating year must not exceed a specified amount. For post offices, general stores and food shops the rateable value must be no more than £8,500, whilst for public houses and petrol filling stations the rateable value must be no more than £12,500.
The second part is a discretionary relief scheme that is itself split into two parts.
'Top-up' relief of up to the remaining 50 per cent may be awarded to those businesses already awarded mandatory relief.
The council may also award up to 100 per cent discretionary relief, to any small rural business which is situated in a 'designated rural settlement', if the rateable value does not exceed £16,500.
The council has to be satisfied that the business is of benefit to the local community and that it is reasonable to award relief given the cost to the council taxpayers of the district.
Do you qualify for rural rate relief?
Last reviewed: 24 - 10 - 2013