Relief for firms facing tax hike

The funds, which have come from developers' contributions, are to expand both surgeries

Businesses facing a hike in their tax bills can apply for financial support thanks to a new relief scheme.

Rother District Council will help alleviate some of the pressure on small and medium businesses in the district caused by the national revaluation of business rates, which happens every five years.

Cllr Lord Ampthill, portfolio holder for finance, resources and value for money, said: “Some of our businesses are seeing rates rising by as much as 477 per cent, with one retail warehouse and premises facing an increase of £195,000. We want to do everything we can to support small and medium businesses
in Rother to thrive.”

While a number of businesses across the district have seen their rateable value decrease, the business rates of many shops, holiday units, pubs and warehouses soared when the revaluation came into force on April 1 this year.

Councillors have agreed to use money from a central Government pot to offer rate relief to all qualifying businesses with a rateable value of less than £100,000, to ensure small and medium sized businesses benefit by ensuring that they pay no more than five per cent above the 2016/17 tax rate in the current financial year.

Cllr Lord Ampthill added: “We have a limited pot of money which will decrease each year for four years, so it is important we focus on the businesses most in need of our support.”

Support will only be offered to qualifying businesses established before April 1, 2017 and will be applied after all other qualifying reliefs are awarded, such as small business rate relief.

Eligible businesses throughout the district have been contacted by Rother District Council and invited to apply for business rate relief. Visit www.rother.gov.uk/article/281/Relief-and-Unoccupied-Properties for more information.

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