Cabinet agrees rate relief for local businesses
Test Valley Borough Council’s cabinet agreed a series of rate reliefs at its meeting on 13 February, in a bid to help support local businesses.
They provided unanimous support for the proposal to implement the new Retail Relief announced by the Chancellor in his Budget in October 2018, as well as a one-year extension to the temporary Local Newspaper Office Relief scheme to cover 2019/20.
The implementation of Retail Relief is expected to see most eligible retailers paying less in rates in 2019/20 than in 2018/19.
They also agreed that the council will continue to award the Supporting Small Business Relief and Revaluation Relief announced by the Chancellor in his Budget in March 2017.
The authority’s cabinet agreed to pass on all reliefs to local businesses, with the total sum expected to reach more than £1.3M for 2019/20.
Finance portfolio holder, Councillor Peter Giddings, said: “Though these rate reliefs are to be allocated at the council’s discretion, my fellow cabinet members and I are unanimous in our view that this money should be passed on to businesses as the lifeblood of our local economy. I hope that the agreed reliefs will be of some assistance, especially to our high street businesses in what is undoubtedly a challenging financial landscape.”
The council is responsible for the billing and collection of business rates from all non-domestic properties in the borough.
A number of reliefs are available to mitigate the cost of business rates payable by certain types of business. Some of these are mandatory whereas others are applied locally using discretionary powers.