Spring budget reliefs

In the 2017 spring budget, the government announced 3 types of relief to support businesses most affected by rises in their rates bills following the 2017 revaluation. The 3 reliefs are as follows:

Supporting small businesses relief 

This relief, introduced 1 April 2017, is available to ratepayers who have lost some or all of their small business rate relief or rural rate relief as a result of an increase in rateable value in the 2017 revaluation.

This scheme limits any increase in business rates to £600 per year and will apply for a maximum of five years. Relief will automatically be applied each year that the business is eligible to receive it; this could be every year for the five years or could end sooner if you reach the bill amount you would have paid without the relief.

The relief is only available to occupied properties, however, properties occupied by a charity or community amateur sports club are not eligible for this relief.

Any relief applied will be subject to state aid rules - please see guidance below.

We have automatically identified those ratepayers who should receive this relief and have applied it to their bill. 

If you feel that you qualify for this relief but it is not showing on your bill, please contact us on 01543 308000.

Public house (pub) relief 

Pub relief is a national government scheme announced in the 2017 spring budget to provide additional relief to public houses following the 2017 revaluation.

Occupied public houses with a rateable value of less than £100,000 may be eligible for up to £1,000 relief on their business rates bill for 2017-18. 

We have awarded pub relief to all applicable businesses and issued new bills reflecting the award.

Which properties may get pub relief?

To qualify, the public house needs to:

  • have a rateable value of less than £100,000
  • be open to the general public
  • allow free entry other than when occasional entertainment is provided
  • allow drinking without requiring food to be consumed
  • permit drinks to be purchased at a bar

For these purposes, it doesn't include:

  • restaurants
  • cafes
  • nightclubs
  • hotels
  • snack bars
  • guesthouses
  • boarding houses
  • sporting venues
  • music venues
  • festival sites
  • theatres
  • museums
  • exhibition halls
  • cinemas
  • concert halls
  • casinos

Any relief applied will be subject to state aid rules. Please see guidance below.

If you feel that you qualify for this relief but it is not showing on your bill, please contact us on 01543 308000.

New business rate discretionary relief scheme 2017-18 

We have been allocated a share of a national fund over a four year period in order to provide additional discretionary relief to businesses adversely affected by the 2017 revaluation:

The relief is effective from 1 April 2017 and will be provided over four years. The amount of relief will gradually reduce over this four year period.

Basic principles for new discretionary relief scheme (as outlined in our policy) are set out for you below:

  1. The scheme is designed to assist ratepayers who have suffered significant increases in rates liability due to the revaluation and the subsequent increase to their rateable value.
  2. Relief will not be awarded where mandatory relief is granted.
  3. In assessing any potential entitlement to an award under this scheme, the council will compare the following:
      1. The rate liability of the ratepayer at 31 March 2017 after any relief and reductions, and;
      2. The rate liability of the ratepayer at 1 April 2017 taking into account any transitional relief or discretionary relief.
  4. Relief will be awarded where the calculation in point 3 above would result in an increase of more than £600 (determined by us as an acceptable increase.
  5. Relief will only be given to premises which are liable for occupied rates. No relief within this scheme will be granted for unoccupied premise.
  6. Relief will only be granted to ratepayers who were in occupation at 31 March 2017 and in occupation on the 1 April 2017 and for each day subsequently.
  7. Ratepayers taking up occupation after the 1April 2017 will not be eligible for relief on the basis that new ratepayers would not have suffered from increased due to a revaluation.
  8. Relief will be targeted to local businesses and not those business that are national or multinational in nature. Local business are, for the purpose of this scheme, those which have premises wholly in district.
  9. Relief may be awarded for more than one premises as long as all other criteria are met.
  10. Relief will not be awarded where:
      1. The ratepayer has applied for a reduction under S44a of the local government finance act 1988 or;
      2. Where the hereditament has an increase in rateable value after the 1 April 2017 which increases the rate charge above the 1 April 2017 value.

In addition, relief will be reduced or removed following a reduction in rateable value that has effect from the 1 April 2017.

A letter has been sent to businesses identified above with an amended business rates bill explaining the discretionary scheme and advising businesses that if they do not return the state aid declaration within, the relief will be removed from their account.

If you feel that you qualify for this relief but it is not showing on your bill, please contact us on 01543 308000.

State Aid Rules

The rules concerning EU state aid require that your business does not receive more than €200,000 of state aid in a three year period. Further information concerning state aid can be obtained on gov.uk and the EU website.

In order to satisfy the rating authority that you comply with state aid law, you will be required to declare to us if you have received or are receiving any other de minimis state aid in the last three years. This will include any supporting pub relief and supporting small business relief you are being granted in respect of any other premises that you occupy. You must declare that the award of all reliefs does not exceed the €200,000 that a ratepayer can receive under the de minimis regulations EC1407/2013.

If a declaration to this effect is not received, supporting pub relief or supporting small business relief will not be granted.


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Phone our contact centre: 01543 308 000
District Council House, Frog Lane, Lichfield, Staffs, WS13 6YY

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Our main reception at Frog Lane in Lichfield is open Monday - Friday, 8.45am - 5.15pm.

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