Re­vealed – what Hal­ton gets in busi­ness rates from bridge

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● ● Right, the ex­ist­ing ward map with its 56 seats HAL­TON Bor­ough Coun­cil has re­vealed how much it ex­pects to re­ceive in busi­ness rates from firms di­rectly in­volved in the Mersey Gate­way bridge this fi­nan­cial year.

A Free­dom Of In­for­ma­tion (FOI) re­quest by the Weekly News showed that the lo­cal au­thor­ity ex­pects to re­ceive £178,166.59 in to­tal from tolls op­er­a­tor Emo­vis Op­er­a­tions Mersey Ltd, and Merseylink Con­struc­tion Con­sor­tium Joint Ven­ture (CCJV) in 2018-19.

Of that sum, £73,971.65 is to be paid by in re­la­tion to its premises in Manor Park, and the ma­jor­ity, £104,194.94 by Merseylink CCJV, which has bases at Lancer Court in Ast­moor In­dus­trial Es­tate, Run­corn, and at var­i­ous lo­ca­tions around Widnes in­clud­ing For­ward Point of­fices on Tan­house Lane, Water­loo Road, Dit­ton Road and Dock Road.

Busi­ness rates are a tax charged on most non­do­mes­tic prop­er­ties.

The firms’ pay­ments rep­re­sent a por­tion of in­come for Hal­ton from the £1.86bn Mersey Gate­way project and the firms’ pres­ence in the bor­ough.

It also comes against a back­drop of ma­jor changes in the way author­i­ties are funded via busi­ness rates.

Be­fore April 2013, all busi­ness rate in­come col­lected by coun­cils was put into a na­tional pot, shared among lo­cal author­i­ties around the coun­try in the form of for­mula grant fund­ing.

But fol­low­ing the Lo­cal Govern­ment Fi­nance Act 2012 and other reg­u­la­tions, the Govern­ment gave lo­cal author­i­ties the power to keep half of busi­ness rates paid in their bor­ough by di­vid­ing it into the ‘lo­cal share’ and the ‘cen­tral share’.

The cen­tral share is re­dis­tributed to coun­cils via rev­enue sup­port and other grants.

The lo­cal share is kept by lo­cal govern­ment, but also partly re­dis­tributed to en­sure coun­cils do not miss out if they have low busi­ness rate tak­ings com­pared to what they need.

Ac­cord­ing to the Lo­cal Govern­ment As­so­ci­a­tion, the aim of the switch was to ‘pro­vide fi­nan­cial in­cen­tives to coun­cils to grow their lo­cal economies’.

This has now been ex­tended with the in­tro­duc­tion of 100% busi­ness rates re­ten­tion in pilot scheme ar­eas such as the Liver­pool City Re­gion – in­clud­ing Hal­ton – from April 2017.

The Govern­ment has said the scheme would give coun­cils more cash to spend on ser­vices.

Hal­ton should re­ceive al­most £200,000 in busi­ness rate rev­enue from firms con­nected with the Mersey Gate­way in its first year

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