Business Rates Revaluation
17th March 2017.
David Cummings Chairman of Monmouth Chamber of Trade and Commerce commented:
Retailers will remember how hard the Chamber and other organisations fought for more money for relief for those affected by large hikes in business rates as a result of the business rateable value revaluation, details of which came out in October 2016. On 17th December the Welsh Government announced a new Targeted High Street Rate Relief Scheme (THSRRS). On 14th March MCC Finance Department finally received enough information on THSRRS to define how it would be applied. Possibly as a result of my insistence, there will be a covering letter with every business rate demand going out in the next week or so explaining, not only THSRRS, but also transitional relief and how it will be applied. It is evident that some county councils have sent out rate demands without explaining what THSRRS is and how it will be applied.
The covering letter explains what THSRRS is and is after this introduction. It is important to stress for Tier 1 relief only that relief will be paid to businesses who have seen an increase in their business rates, where they will expect to pay the same, or even where there has been a fall. It is expected that MCC Finance Department will be able to make adjustment for the THSRRS mid-summer, so for those paying rates on Direct Debit the payment can be adjusted. I am pleased to inform you that MCC have decided to take a fairly loose interpretation to the words “High Street” in THSRRS and apply the benefits to all retail premises in towns in the county. They estimate that about 400 out of 3167 businesses with rateable premises will qualify. There are terms and conditions imposed by WG so out of town, empty properties, doctors, dentists, hotels and self-catering will not be eligible for THSRRS. Pubs will be eligible.
I believe that at this point we should give thanks that not only the Chamber, but MCC have done such a great job in fighting the cause and on keeping businesses informed. It is evident that no other county council has done half as much. We fully support the points raised in Bob Greenland’s letter to Mark Drakeford -see next item on this web page.