National Non-Domestic Rates (NNDR) Discretionary Rate Relief Guidelines
Decision Maker: Cabinet
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: No
Is subject to call in?: Yes
Suggested new guidelines to be used when determining the granting of NNDR (Business Rates) discretionary rate relief to organisations.
RESOLVED that the NNDR Discretionary Rate Relief Guidelines be approved.
Reasons for the decision:
Thecurrent guidelines have been in place for four years; in 2010 the Discretionary rate Relief task & Finish Group recommended to Overview and Scrutiny Commission that the principle of the discretionary relief guidelines be reviewed every three years. The suggested guidelines detailed in Appendix A sets out the criteria to be taken into consideration in deciding whether relief should be given, the procedure for applications and an appeals process where there has been a refusal to grant relief
Awards of relief are reviewed annually and the guidelines will help determine which organisations should receive relief for the period commencing 1 April 2015.
The main recipients of rate relief are charitable organisations who support vulnerable people in the community and small rural businesses. The guidelines seek to ensure that the basis of awards is directly related to the value the organisation provides to the Council tax payers of the district and Council priorities. The key change to current guidelines is that relief will no longer be granted where an organisation can afford to pay the rates itself. The types of awards given for the period ending 31 March 2014 are detailed in Appendix B.
Without the relief granted charitable organisations may have to reduce the services they provide and small rural businesses (often the only one of their type in the area) would potentially close.
Alternative options considered:
· That the NNDR Discretionary Rate Relief Guidelines are approved
· That the NNDR Discretionary Rate Relief Guidelines are not approved - In the current financial climate and the Council’s current budgetary pressures consideration has to be given to whether any expenditure is necessary. However, in the case of discretionary rate relief any blanket guidelines not to pay relief at all would be ultra vires as it would be considered a ‘fettering of discretion’.
Publication date: 23/10/2014
Date of decision: 22/10/2014
Decided at meeting: 22/10/2014 - Cabinet
Effective from: 31/10/2014