Decision Maker: Mid Suffolk Cabinet
Is Key decision?: No
Is subject to call in?: Yes
BCa/18/65 – RETAIL DISCOUNT – BUSINESS RATE RELIEF POLICY
It was RESOLVED: -
That the introduction of a discretionary retail discount policy for the financial years for 2019/20 and 2021/21 be approved.
Reason for Decision:
To provide a discretionary retail discount to support ratepayers in the Babergh District.
Alternative Options Considered and Rejected:
1.1 Option 1 – Introduce a retail discount
A new discretionary retail discount is created using the Councils discretionary relief powers, introduced by the Localism Act under section 47 of the Local Government Finance Act 1988, as amended that applies to occupied properties with a rateable value of less than £51,000 that are wholly or mainly being used as shops, restaurants, cafes and drinking establishments.
The criteria for the discount:
· Would require the applicants to be in occupation and using the property as described in the policy.
· Eligibility for the discount and the amount itself will be assessed and calculated on a daily basis. The discount will be awarded after any mandatory relief and any other discretionary relief including those funded by section 31 grants except those introduced using the powers granted under the Localism Act 2011. The discount will amount to one third of the bill after the above reliefs.
· The discount will be subject to state aid rules
Administration would be a simple procedure whereby the discount would be automatically applied where the circumstances are clear. A letter would be issued to the ratepayer requesting confirmation that accepting the discount would not exceed the de minimis threshold under the state aid rules. Moving forward a simple online application form will be available for ratepayers to request the discount.
Creating a local retail discount will support local retailers within the district at no cost to the Council.
1.2 Option 2 – Do nothing
There is no mandatory requirement on billing authorities to provide a retail discount, however the Government is funding the scheme, so not introducing it would be an opportunity missed to support local retailers.
Any Declarations of Interest declared: None
Any Dispensation Granted: None
Publication date: 08/02/2019
Date of decision: 06/02/2019
Decided at meeting: 06/02/2019 - Babergh Cabinet
Effective from: 16/02/2019