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Discretionary rate relief

Published: 15/02/2018

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.”