Discretionary rate relief
Following written representations from elected members and charitable
organisations at a recent County Council meeting, officers were asked to
draw-up potential solutions for re-instating an additional 20% Discretionary
Rate Relief for organisations who occupy small premises.
On 20 February, the Council’s Cabinet will be asked to consider solutions and
costs for changing the 2017-18 Discretionary Rate Relief scheme by
re-introducing 20% discretionary ‘top-up’ relief, targeted specifically at
charities, voluntary and community organisations who occupy small premises with
rateable values of up to £6,000.
The changes to the scheme, if they are implemented, would ensure that around 88
of these organisations occupying small premises benefit from 100% rate relief,
funded through a combination of Mandatory and/or Discretionary Rate Relief.
The proposed changes would ensure these organisations are treated similarly to
small ‘for-profit’ businesses who qualify for 100% rate relief as part of Welsh
Government’s fully funded Small Business Rate Relief scheme (SBR).
Flintshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Corporate Management and Assets,
Councillor Billy Mullin, said:
“Regrettably, the law says that properties occupied by charities and community
organisations are not eligible for SBR in the same way that small businesses
are. The Council recognises the important role of charities, voluntary and
community organisations play within our communities. We are considering changes
to the 2017-18 Discretionary Rate Relief policy framework despite the budget
pressures we face as a result of reduced funding from central government.”