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Relief and exemptions

Business Rate relief

Discretionary Revaluation Relief Scheme

Request application forms for:

  • Mandatory Rate Relief for charities and CASCs 
  • Discretionary Rate Relief for charities and not for profit organisations
  • Rate relief on the grounds for hardship

By emailing the Rates team or calling 01293 438615.

Mandatory Rate Relief

Reduction or relief may be available depending on the particular circumstances related to your occupation of the property.

Mandatory Rate Relief can be granted on properties exclusively in possession of, and wholly or mainly occupied by, a Registered Charity for charitable purposes. The relief granted is 80 per cent of the rate charged.

Properties occupied by Community Amateur Sports Clubs (CASCs) who are registered with the Inland Revenue will also be entitled to receive 80 per cent relief from the date of registration. 

Application forms for Mandatory Rate Relief for charities and CASCs are available on request, email Rates team or call 01293 438615.

Discretionary Rate Relief

This is given at our discretion, these are examples of when relief could be awarded: 

  • Relief may be given to charities and CASCs who receive Mandatory Rate Relief, if Discretionary Relief is granted then this reduces the potential rate yield collectable by us
  • Rate relief may be granted when properties are occupied by organisations which are not for profit and whose main objectives are charitable and are concerned with education, social welfare, science, literature or the fine arts
  • Discretionary Relief can be given to properties being occupied for recreational purpose by a club, society or other not for profit organisations
  • We can provide a discount to any local Ratepayer (not just those previously mentioned) subject to De-Minimis State Aid limits

Application forms for Discretionary Rate Relief for charities and not for profit organisations are available on request, email Rates team or call 01293 438615. 

The form must be completed and returned with all relevant information including the objects/purpose and constitution of the organisation and the most recent audited accounts. All applications are considered on their individual merits. We may also review all cases receiving rate relief on a two-yearly basis.

Rate relief on the grounds of hardship

We have discretionary power to reduce or remit rate charges on the grounds of hardship in exceptional cases only.

For example, where there is hardship as a result of unexpected, short term and localised factors (such as a natural disaster), we might help a business stay open if it would otherwise close, resulting in a significant effect on the community.

Hardship relief is not intended to compensate for the effect of a recession or general economic downturn.

To qualify for relief, we must be satisfied in the application that there is a real benefit to the local community as well as a proven financial need by the business and the Ratepayer.

Each case is considered on merit and a written application should be made which sets out the reasons and the amount or period of relief requested, copies of the last year’s audited accounts, the most recent trading statement together with a trading forecast for the forthcoming period. A copy of the current criteria is available on request from the Rates Office, call 01293 438615 or email Rates team.

Effects of granting relief

Some reliefs may be fully funded (such as Revaluation Relief or Retail Rate Relief) when the Government wants councils to assist certain sectors on a temporary basis. 

If we have been granted discretionary relief powers, it is not usually fully funded, meaning new discretionary relief funding will have to be paid for by:

  • Future increase in Council Tax bills
  • Efficiency savings
  • Increased charges for services 
  • Funding set aside to provide services to the community

Granting relief may reduce the amount retained by us as part of the Business Rate retention scheme so we will consider the financial impact on Council Tax payers and services available to the community if funds are diverted to support a particular organisation.

No budgetary allowance has been made for the funding of any unsupported applications received due to the insertion of Clause 69 within the Localism Act.