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Important changes from 1 April 2017

Small Business Rate Relief

  • From April 2017, small businesses that occupy a single property with a rateable value of £12,000 or less will not have to pay Business Rates. 
  • There will be a tapered rate of relief on properties between £12,000 and £15,000.
  • The threshold for the small business rates multiplier will increase from £18,000 to include properties with a rateable value of up to £51,000.

Multiplier for 2017/18

  • Small business multiplier £46.6p
  • Standard multiplier £47.9p

If a rateable value is under £51,000 the small business multiplier is used, whereas rateable values above £51,000 attract the standard multiplier.

Local newspapers

  • There will be a £1,500 business rates discount for office space occupied by local newspapers in England up to a maximum of one discount per local newspaper title and per hereditament, and up to state aid limits, for two years from 1 April 2017.

Rural settlement relief

  • Small businesses in a rural area with a population of less than 3000 currently benefit from 50% relief increasing to 100% from 1 April 2017.

Full-fibre infrastructure

  • A new 100% Business Rates relief for new full-fibre infrastructure for a 5 year period from 1 April 2017.

Transitional scheme for the 2017 rating list

For those ratepayers who would otherwise have seen significant increases in their rates liability, the Government has put in place a transitional relief scheme to limit and phase in changes in rate bills as a result of the 2017 revaluation. To help pay for the limits on increases in bills, there were also limits on reductions in bills.

Under the transition scheme, limits apply to yearly increases and decreases until the full amount is due. The scheme applies only to the bill based on a property at the time of the revaluation. The transitional arrangements are applied automatically, you do not have to apply for them and they are shown on the front of your bill.

Revaluation 2017

The Valuation Office Agency has completed a revaluation of rateable values and this applies to all business properties. These new rateable values are effective from 1 April 2017.

Rateable values are used to calculate Business Rates along with the national multiplier for the year. Business rate bills sent out with effective dates from 1st April 2017 will use the new 2017 valuation information. More information on revaluation 2017 can be found at The Valuation Office Agency.

Changes announced in the Spring Budget 2017

On 8 March 2017 the Chancellor announced three further changes to Business Rates within the Spring Budget:

Support for Small Businesses  

A scheme of relief would be made available to those ratepayers facing large increases as a result of the loss of small business or rural rate relief. To support these ratepayers, the supporting small businesses relief will ensure that the increase per year in the bills of these ratepayers is limited to the greater of:

  • A cash value of £600 per year (£50 per month)
  • The matching cap on increases for small properties in the transitional relief scheme

It is expected that a small number of accounts in Colchester will be affected by this change. We are awaiting clarification of how the government wishes us to apply these changes and we will take prompt action to amend any relevant accounts as soon as this is received. Please continue paying Business rates until you have been notified of any change to your Business Rates.

New Discretionary Relief Scheme

The Government announced the establishment of a discretionary fund over four years from 2017-18 to support those businesses that face the steepest increases in their business rates bills as a result of the 2017 revaluation.

The Governments is currently consulting on the design of the discretionary relief scheme and once known further details will be published on how this scheme will be operated.

Support for Pubs

The Government has also announced a new relief scheme for pubs that have a 2017 rateable value of below £100,000. Under the scheme, eligible pubs will receive a £1000 discount on their bill. The government intends to consult on how this relief will be applied. Once we know more details we will be contacting eligible Pubs to explain the application of the relief and further details will also be available on this website. Please continue paying Business rates until you have been notified of any change to your Business Rates.