Council plan to overhaul business rates


- Credit: Archant

THE way business rates are paid in North Somerset could be set to change.

From April next year, local authorities will have the power to choose which businesses will pay subsided rates. At the moment, the council keeps 49 per cent of the rates collected by the Government, but under the new law it will keep 100 per cent.

The council is looking to adopt a new policy which will mean all organisations will have to pay at least some of the rates bill.

On its consultation document, the council said: “Discretionary rate relief granted by North Somerset Council is paid for by the council taxpayers and the council has a duty to ensure that public funds are spent wisely.”

While charities would be given an automatic 80 per cent reduction in rates, non-profit organisations could also enjoy discretionary relief of up to that amount.

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Under this proposal, the council would award the most relief to businesses which support the taxpayers of North Somerset and introduce a relief cap at £5,000 and a time limit of three years.

The council says its other option is to do nothing – meaning it could not consider any new requests for relief.

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The consultation is available on the council website and closes on January 11 at noon. If the plan goes ahead, changes would not be implemented until April 2017.

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