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Important changes from 1 April 2017

Revaluation 2017

The Valuation Office Agency has completed a revaluation of rateable values and this applies to all business properties. These new rateable values are effective from 1 April 2017.

Rateable values are used to calculate Business Rates along with the national multiplier for the year. Business rate bills sent out with effective dates from 1st April 2017 will use the new 2017 valuation information. More information on revaluation 2017 can be found at The Valuation Office.

Changes announced in the Spring Budget 2017

On 8th March 2017 the Chancellor announced three further changes to Business Rates within the Spring Budget:

Support for Small Businesses  

A scheme of relief would be made available to those ratepayers facing large increases as a result of the loss of small business or rural rate relief. To support these ratepayers, the supporting small businesses relief will ensure that the increase per year in the bills of these ratepayers is limited to the greater of:

  • A cash value of £600 per year (£50 per month)
  • The matching cap on increases for small properties in the transitional relief scheme

It is expected that a small number of accounts in Colchester will be affected by this change.

We would have identified and amended all relevant accounts by 1st September 2017. You should continue to pay your Business Rates until you have been notified of any change to your Business Rates.

If you are eligible for this additional support we will send you a new Business Rates demand once this has been applied to your account. 

New Discretionary Relief Scheme

The Government announced the establishment of a discretionary fund over four years from 2017-18 to support those businesses that face the steepest increases in their business rates bills as a result of the 2017 revaluation.

If you would like to make and advance application to this fund please email Business.Rates@colchester.gov.uk or call 01206 282300 and select option 2.

One Year Business Rate Relief Scheme for Pubs

At Spring Budget 2017, the Chancellor announced a maximum £1,000 business rate discount for public houses with a rateable value of up to £100,000 for one year from 1 April 2017.

The relief will end on 31 March 2018.

The Government has set out how this relief should operate and the eligibility criteria that should apply.

The Government's policy intention is that eligible pubs should:

  • Be open to the general public
  • Allow free entry other than when occasional entertainment is provided
  • Allow drinking without requiring food to be consumed
  • Permit drinks to be purchased at a bar.

It should exclude:

  • Restaurants, cafes, nightclubs, hotels, snack bars, guest houses, boarding houses, sporting venues, music venues, festival sites, theatres, museums, exhibition halls, cinemas, concert halls and casinos.

The relief is up to a £1000 for eligible businesses, if your liability after the application of all other reliefs is less than a £1000 then the relief will be applied to the residual amount.

How to apply

We have identified businesses that are eligible for this relief. We will apply the relief proactively. A new bill will be issued showing the application of the relief.

All eligible businesses will receive this relief by 4th September 2017.

If you consider you are eligible for this relief and have not received a revised demand by 4th September 2017 please contact the team:

State Aid Rules

The award of this relief is classed as State Aid under European Union Law and Colchester Borough Council must therefore comply with the European Union State Aid legislation. You will therefore need to confirm that the granting of this relief will not result in your organisation exceeding the state aid threshold of €200,000 Further information on State Aid law can be found at https://www.gov.uk/state-aid

When we apply the relief we will issue a state aid form that is required to be completed and returned. If we establish state aid limits have been exceeded then the relief will be removed.