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Recent changes & Government announcements

Chancellor's Budget proposals - October 2018

High streets

To provide upfront support the government is planning to cut business rate bills by one third for retail properties with a rateable value below £51,000, benefitting up to 90% of retail properties, for two years from April 2019 subject to state aid limits.

Local newspapers

The government will continue the £1,500 business rates discount for office space occupied by local newspapers in 2019-2020, up to a maximum of one discount per local newspaper title and per hereditament, and up to state aid limits.

Public lavatories

The government will introduce 100% business rates relief for all public lavatories.

Chancellor's Budget proposals - November 2017

Over the next five years the government will provide further support to businesses and improve the fairness of the system in England, by:

  • bringing forward to 1 April 2018 the planned switch in indexation from RPI to the main measure of inflation (currently CPI);
  • continuing the £1,000 business rate discount for public houses with a rateable value of up to £100,000, subject to state aid limits for businesses with multiple properties, for one year from 1 April 2018;
  • increasing the frequency with which the VOA revalues non-domestic properties to every three years following the next revaluation, currently due in 2022. To enable this, ratepayers will be required to provide regular information to the VOA on who is responsible for business rates and property characteristics including use and rent. The government will consult on the implementation of these changes in the spring;
  • legislating retrospectively to address the so-called “staircase tax”. Affected businesses will be able to ask the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) to recalculate valuations so that bills are based on previous practice backdated to April 2010 – including those who lost Small Business Rate Relief as a result of the Court judgement. The government will publish draft legislation shortly.

Discretionary Rate Relief (Revaluation) scheme

St.Helens Council will be operating a Discretionary Rate Relief (Revaluation) scheme to support local ratepayers who have experienced large increases in their business rates as a result of the 2017 revaluation.

Chancellor's Budget proposals - March 2017

In addition to the previous proposals the government has announced further planned support:

  • Support for small businesses losing Small Business Rate Relief to limit increases in their bills to the greater of £600 or the real terms transitional relief cap for small businesses each year;
  • The government will also introduce a £1,000 business rate discount for public houses with a rateable value of up to £100,000, subject to state aid limits for businesses with multiple properties, for one year from 1 April 2017.