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Important changes from 1 April 2017

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.

Changes announced in the Spring Budget 2017

On 8th 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 would have identified and amended all relevant accounts by 1st September 2017. You should continue to pay your Business Rates until you have been notified of any change to your Business Rates.

If you are eligible for this additional support we will send you a new Business Rates demand once this has been applied to your account. 

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.

We are currently in the process of developing a new scheme and will publish further details as they become available.

Support for Pubs

The Government has also announced a new relief scheme for public houses for one year from 1 April 2017 and will end on 31 March 2018.  The government has now developed a scheme which sets out how it should operate and the eligibility criteria that should apply.

To be eligible for this relief public houses should:

  • Be open to the public
  • Allow free entry other than when occasional entertainment is provided
  • Allow drinking without requiring food to be consumed
  • Permit drink to be purchased at a bar

There is no relief available for other establishments which are excluded and therefore ineligible for the relief these include - Restaurants, Cafes, Nightclubs, Hotels, Snack Bars, Guesthouses, Boarding Houses, Sporting Venues, Music Venues, Festival Sites, Theatres, Museums, Exhibition Halls, Cinemas, Concert halls and Casinos.

There is no relief available under this scheme for properties with a rateable value of £100,000 or more. Where pubs are part of a chain, relief will be available for each eligible property in the chain, subject to meeting State Aid requirements.

If you are eligible for the public house relief, we will send you a new business rates bill once this has been applied to your account.

If would wish to find out more about the pubs relief scheme please contact the Business Rates team on telephone 01206 282300 and select option 2 or by emailing businessrates@colchester.gov.uk

Please continue paying Business rates until you have been notified of any change to your Business Rates.