£1m fund to help firms on rates rise

Coun­cil re­veals which busi­nesses will qual­ify for aid

Midweek Visiter - - Front Page - BY AN­DREW BROWN an­drew.brownNW@trin­i­tymir­ror.com @visan­drew­brown

QUAL­I­FY­ING busi­nesses in Sefton can ex­pect to have their busi­ness rates cut as a re­sult of a new Rate Re­lief Scheme an­nounced by Sefton Coun­cil.

The rate re­lief will ben­e­fit busi­nesses that have faced the steep­est in­creases in their busi­ness rates as a re­sult of the 2017 re­val­u­a­tion un­der­taken by the in­de­pen­dent Val­u­a­tion Of­fice Agency.

A report was out­lin­ing the scheme was agreed at Thurs­day night’s (Septem­ber 21) full Sefton Coun­cil meet­ing.

The Re­val­u­a­tion Re­lief Scheme is ef­fec­tive from April 1, 2017 and will be pro­vided over four years but is cash lim­ited based on fund­ing from cen­tral Gov­ern­ment.

Sefton’s al­lo­ca­tion of the Gov­ern­ment fund­ing for dis­cre­tionary rate re­lief is to be £945,838 spread across the next four years. The as­sis­tance will be tar­geted at those fac­ing sig­nif­i­cant in­creases in rates in lower value prop­er­ties.

Nor­mally this would be prop­er­ties with a rate­able value of less than £200,000 with a rates in­crease of 12.5% or more. Busi­nesses likely to ben­e­fit from this scheme will be con­tacted by the coun­cil and in­vited to make an on-line ap­pli­ca­tion.

Other new rate re­lief schemes for qual­i­fy­ing busi­nesses have also been an­nounced in Sefton:

Up to £1,000 for one year only for Sefton’s pubs with a rate­able value of up to £100,000.

Any busi­ness no longer el­i­gi­ble for Small Busi­ness Rate re­lief to have the rates in­creases capped at no more than £600 in the first year.

£1,500 busi­ness rates dis­count for of­fice space oc­cu­pied by lo­cal news­pa­pers for two years from April 1, 2017.

Busi­nesses are not ex­pected to make a for­mal ap­pli­ca­tion for these re­lief schemes but are be­ing con­tacted by Sefton Coun­cil and sim­ply re­quired to con­firm to the coun­cil that the prop­erty is oc­cu­pied and used for the pur­poses of the schemes.

Cllr Paulette Lap­pin, Sefton Coun­cil’s Cab­i­net Mem­ber of Reg­u­la­tory Com­pli­ance and Cor­po­rate Ser­vices, said: “I am pleased that Sefton Coun­cil has com­mit­ted to ease the pres­sure on our lo­cal busi­nesses with these new Gov­ern­ment funded busi­ness rate re­liefs.

“We can now tar­get fi­nan­cial sup­port to more busi­nesses where the rates are hav­ing an im­pact on their busi­nesses.”

Ratepay­ers who qual­ify for the rate re­lief are obliged to let the coun­cil know if the re­lief they have re­ceived over a rolling three-year pe­riod ex­ceeds the State Aid Limit of 200,000 eu­ros.

For more in­for­ma­tion re­gard­ing the new rate re­lief schemes please visit sefton.gov.uk

Cllr Paulette Lap­pin, Cab­i­net Mem­ber for Reg­u­la­tory Com­pli­ance and Cor­po­rate Ser­vices (Sefton)

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