The following package of business rates measures have been announced:
Rural Rate Relief - The Autumn Statement confirmed that the Government will double rural rate relief to 100% from 1 April 2017. The Government intends to amend the relevant primary legislation to require local authorities to grant 100% mandatory rural rate relief.
Full-Fibre Infrastructure - The Government will provide a new 100% business rates relief for new full-fibre infrastructure for a five year period from 1 April 2017 to support the rollout of new full-fibre broadband infrastructure and future 5G communications to homes and businesses
Small Business Rate Relief (SBRR) - The Government confirmed that the doubling of the SBRR from 50% to 100% will be made permanent from 1 April 2017.
The £6,000 and £12,000 thresholds will increase to £12,000 and £15,000 respectively. Therefore, hereditaments with rateable values of £12,000 or below that meet the eligibility criteria will receive 100% relief and those businesses with rateable values between £12,001 and £14,999 will receive tapered relief. The taper will operate as at present – with 100% relief for eligible hereditaments with an RV of £12,000 or below, decreasing to 0% relief for hereditaments with an RV of £15,000 or above.
The threshold for the rateable value of individual second properties will increase from £2,599 to £2,899, and the threshold for the aggregate value of all second properties will increase from £17,999 to £19,999
Empty Property Relief Threshold - The extended empty property relief threshold will increase from £2,599 to £2,899
Standard Business Rates Multiplier - The threshold for the standard business rates multiplier will also increase from a rateable value of £18,000 to £51,000.
New Discount for Local Newspapers - Government will introduce a £1,500 business rates discount for office space occupied by local newspapers, up to a maximum of one discount per local newspaper title and per hereditament, and up to state aid limits, for 2 years from 1 April 2017.
Rates Bills – Government stated its commitment to work with authorities to standardise business rates bills, ensure ratepayers have the option to receive and pay bills online, make explanatory notes available online and end multi-year billing.
Explanatory Notes - From 1 April 2017, authorities will no longer be required to provide individual copies of explanatory notes when bills are issued. Instead, authorities will be required to publish explanatory notes online, based on model explanatory notes provided by DCLG. The Government intends to make the necessary amendments to the relevant regulations to implement this change for April 2017.
We will provide more information when the relevant legislation has been received.
Last reviewed: 01 - 02 - 2017