Discretionary Rate Relief Policy
To promote the localism agenda Brentwood Borough Council has introduced a Discretionary Rate Relief Policy. Relief will be prioritised where the business or organisation:-
a) Meets the needs of the local community; and either provides a valuable service to the Borough; or
b) Provides access to facilities which indirectly relieves the Council of the need to do so
c) Demonstrates how they help support the Council's priorities in the Corporate Plan.
Discretionary relief is paid for by local taxpayers. As custodians of taxpayers money, discretionary relief must be considered carefully. The Council can award up to an extra 20% relief. Discretionary relief is paid out of a limited pot of money.
The Council will consider the following conditions when deciding how much and to whom relief is awarded:
|a) The financial status of the applicant i.e. the level of the organisation’s net cash assets. This is cash not applied or allocated for any project or initiative in pursuance of the organisation’s objectives.|
|b) Membership is open to all sections of the community with membership rates set at a level which does not exclude the general community.|
|c) Actively encourages membership from particular groups in the community e.g. young people, women, people with disabilities etc.|
|d) Provides training or education to its members|
|e) Facilities are provided by self help or grant aid which is an indicator that the organisation is more deserving of relief.|
|f) Provides facilities which indirectly relieves the authority of the need to do so or enhances and supplements those already provided.|
|g) Membership is drawn from more than 75% of people resident in the Brentwood Borough Council area|
|h) Premises are occupied by local charities and the majority of goods sold are second hand and the shop is not a normal retail shop or only trading for a short period.|
|i) Each application for relief will be considered on its own merits in accordance with national guidelines|
Applications for Discretionary Rate Relief
Business Rates payments remain legally due and payable in accordance with the most recent bill and until such time as any relief is awarded.
Applications for Discretionary Rate Relief can be made using our online Application for Mandatory/Discretionary Rate Relief for Charitable and non-profit making organisations.
With the exception of those with empty newly built properties, completed applications must be accompanied by the previous 2 years audited accounts immediately prior to the application. These must be specific to the trading activity of the property from which relief is being applied for. A review of the accounts will be undertaken which will consider any trading activity, annual turnover and unallocated reserves.
Where it is necessary, the ratepayer may be required to provide further information to support their application. Failure to complete the application fully or supply the information requested will delay the decision making process.
Successful applicants will be notified of the amount of Discretionary Rate Relief awarded by the issue of a new Business Rates bill. The rate relief will be awarded by means of a reduction shown on the bill to the ratepayer. Where this puts the account in credit for the year, a refund will be made by the Council.
Unsuccessful applicants will be notified in writing and reasons for the decision will be provided.