What are business rates?

Non-domestic rates or business rates collected by us are the way that those who occupy non-domestic properties contribute towards the cost of local services.

Historically, the money collected from business rates has been paid to central government who would pool the money and then redistribute amongst local authorities.

However, from April 2013, under the 'business rates retention' arrangements, authorities keep a proportion of the business rates paid locally.

The money, together with revenue from council tax payers, revenue support grants provided by the Government, and certain other sums, is used to pay for the services provided by us.

Who has to pay?

The occupier of a non-domestic property normally pays business rates. This can be one person or a company.

If you lease a property from a landlord, but keep it empty, you are still liable for empty property rates. This is because the lease entitles you, rather than your landlord, to occupy the property.

How is your bill calculated?

We work out the business rates bill by multiplying the rateable value of the property by the appropriate multiplier.

The multiplier is specified by the Secretary of State for the Department for Communities and Local Government and the rateable value is set by the Valuation Office Agency, an executive of the Inland Revenue.

For 2016-17 the small business multiplier is set at 48.4p. The standard multiplier which includes the supplement to pay for small business rate relief is set at 49.7p.

What is the Valuation Office Agency?

The Valuation Office Agency, is an executive agency of Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs. Most of the work they do, involves compiling and maintaining ratings and council tax data for England and Wales.

2017/2018 business rates note

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