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Council Tax and Business Rate Policies unchanged

Published: 11/02/2016

Each year, all Councils need to approve policies for the administration of Council Tax and Business Rates. This forms part of the Council Tax setting process and takes into consideration the circumstances in which the Council will award local taxation discounts and/or reliefs to ensure council tax and business rate bills are calculated correctly. For the year 2016-2017, it is recommended to Cabinet that the scheme remains largely unchanged as follows: · Continue with the current policy of not awarding Council Tax discounts on second and long term empty homes in 2016-17; · Continue with the current policy to consider Discretionary Council Tax discounts only in cases of civil emergencies and natural disasters; · Continue with the current policy in 2016-17 of not awarding ‘top-up’ discretionary discounts to businesses already qualifying for Small Business Rate Relief; · Approve the Discretionary Business Rate Relief Policy for 2016-17. Leader of the Council, Cllr Aaron Shotton, said, Despite the financial pressures faced by the Council as a result of UK Government imposed austerity measures, I am pleased to confirm that the level of rate relief for charitable, voluntary and not for profit organisations remains unchanged for the next financial year. The policy for 2016-17 is strengthened to effectively deal with the emergence of new organisations that are structured and set-up as ‘not for profit’. The policy introduces more clarity around qualification rules for Community Interest Companies and Social Enterprises. ‘Not for profit’ organisations are those whose main reason for existence is not to make a profit which is then passed onto shareholders, but rather any profit is used to further achieve their aims and objectives.