Issue - meetings
Discretionary Rate Relief scheme for 2017-18 and 2018-19
Meeting: 20/02/2018 - Cabinet (Item 132)
As detailed in the recommendations.
Having earlier declared personal and prejudicial interests, Councillors Bithell and Thomas left the room.
Councillor Shotton introduced the Discretionary Rate Relief Scheme for 2017/18 and 2018/19 report.
Following representations from Members, Charitable organisations and a Notice of Motion at the County Council meeting on 30th January 2018, officers were tasked with exploring the feasibility of changing the 2017/18 Discretionary Rate Relief scheme by re-introducing 20% discretionary ‘top-up’ relief targeted specifically to Charities, Voluntary and Community organisations who occupied small premises with rateable values of up to £6,000.
Potential changes were outlined in the report which would ensure that approximately 88 Charities, Voluntary and Community organisations occupying small premises benefited from 100% rate relief, funded through a combination of Mandatory and/or Discretionary Rate Relief. The proposed changes would ensure that those organisations were treated similarly to small ‘for-profit’ businesses who qualified for 100% rate relief as part of Welsh Government’s (WG) fully funded Small Business Rate Relief Scheme (SBR).
The Revenues Manager explained that the financial implications to the changes would be at a cost to the Council of £16,200 for 2017/18, which could be met from existing budget provision set aside to deal with potential hardship applications, and £18,000 for 2018/19 which would be a budget pressure.
Councillor Attridge thanked the Revenues Manager for the work undertaken on this item which resulted in 88 Charities, Voluntary and Community organisations benefitting from 100% rate relief.
The Corporate Finance Manager explained that this would alter the budget figures slightly for the use of reserves for 2018/19 to increase to £1.945m from the £1.927m reported earlier as part of the budget item.
(a) That a retrospective change to the 2017/18 policy framework to provide 20% Discretionary ‘top up’ relief to all Charitable organisations that already benefit from 80% Mandatory Rate Relief and who occupy small premises with a rateable value of up to £6,000, be agreed;
(b) That a retrospective change to the 2017/18 policy framework, to increase Discretionary awards by 20% to all Voluntary and Community organisations, who currently receive 80% Discretionary Rate Relief and who occupy small business premises with a rateable value of up to £6,000, be agreed; and
(c) That it be noted the financial implications for the policy changes will cost £16.2k for 2017/18 and approximately £18k for 2018/19.