Purpose of Report
To provide the Joint Committee with an update on current issues within non-domestic rate.
That the report be noted.
Alternative Options Considered and Rejected
Reason for Decision
Updates on the following schemes were noted:
Supporting Small Business Relief Scheme
The number of hereditaments that had been identified and had benefitted from the scheme as at 30 June 2018 for each of the three authorities was noted as follows:
· City of Lincoln – 8 identified, with 5 responding and the award totalling £7,007;
· North Kesteven – 23 identified, with 19 responding and the award totalling £24,552;
· West Lindsey – 26 identified, with 15 responding and the award totalling £20,201.
Support for Pubs Scheme
The returns for this scheme as at 30 June 2018 were noted as follows:
· City of Lincoln – 63 identified and 22 awards made, totalling £22,000;
· North Kesteven – 40 identified and 31 awards made, totalling £28,793;
· West Lindsey – 59 identified and 29 awards made, totalling £26,118.
Discretionary Relief Scheme – 2018/19 Scheme
During quarter one of 2018/19 officers had undertaken a number of exercises to correctly identify those ratepayers that may be entitled to relief and calculated the cost of relief for all businesses affected by the revaluation, whereby the 2018/19 charge had increased as a result. Since 2017/18 the number of accounts identified for all three districts had decreased and, as a result, the value of relief awarded was as follows:
· City of Lincoln – this was a banded scheme. The award had remained the same for all bands, with the exception of those facing an increase of between £25 and £500. The relief to be awarded for 2018/19 had increased from 50% to 70%, providing additional support to those ratepayers as outlined in Appendix 1;
· North Kesteven – this was a banded scheme. The award had remained the same for the first two bands, but all others had reduced to 80% of the 2017/18 award as outlined in Appendix 2;
· West Lindsey – this was a percentage reduction scheme with all identified ratepayers received a 50% reduction. This was a decrease from 2017/18 of 80%.
Total awards made for each authority were reported at the meeting in respect of 2018/19, as follows:
· City of Lincoln – 346 identified and 359 awards made, totalling £82,552;
· North Kesteven – 278 identified and 261 awards made, totalling £66,278;
· West Lindsey – 197 identified and 133 awards made, totalling £62,095.
Business Rates Pilot
Further to the 100% Business Rates Retention Pilot 2018/19, prior to the summer recess the Government took the opportunity to announce its plans for the 2019/20 Business Rates Retention Pilots. The main points were noted as follows:
· all authorities that had not already been awarded pilot status for 2019/20 could apply, including the 2018/19 pilots;
· the 2019/20 pilots would be at 75% business rates retention, not 100%;
· the ‘no detriment’ clause applied to 2017/18 and 2018/19 pilots would not apply to pilots set up for 2019/20;
· there would be a safety net set at 95% to reflect the additional risk locally that 75% retention introduced and this would apply pilot wide and not to individual authorities, with no levy being paid;
· the pilot programme in 2019/20 was likely to be smaller than the programme in 2018/19;
· successful pilots would last for one year up to the end of March 2020.
A report was currently being prepared to be presented to the Chief Executives meeting on 10 September 2018 to seek approval to submit a bid for 2019/20 pilot status and to agree which of the authorities should be included in that bid. As part of the bid submission, a request would be made to form a Lincolnshire business rate pool should the 100% business rate bid not be approved.