Business rates 2017/18

There were a number of changes to the business rates scheme in April 2017. More changes were announced in the Spring Budget on 8 March 2017. These may have affected the amount of business rates you are charged.

Rateable value revaluation

Business rates are based on the rateable value of your business property. This is an estimate of the open market rental value of a property on a particular date. Rateable values are reviewed periodically to take account of changes in the property market. The latest revaluation took effect from 1 April 2017. It used the amounts properties could have been rented for on 1 April 2015. Some rateable values in the borough have increased and others have reduced.

The review of rateable values was carried out by the Valuation Office Agency. Your new rateable value is shown on your business rates bill. If you disagree the decision you can appeal to the Valuation Office Agency..

Multiplier figures

Business rates are worked out by multiplying your property's rateable value by a figure set by the government. Smaller properties have a lower multiplier figure. The multiplier figures and threshold for what is classed as a smaller property changed from 1 April 2017 as follows:

Business rates multipliers for 2016/2017
Rateable valueMultiplier
£0 to £17,99948.4 pence in the pound
£18,000 and above49.7 pence in the pound
Business rates multipliers for 2017/2018
Rateable valueMultiplier
£0 to £50,99946.6 pence in the pound
£51,000 and above47.9 pence in the pound

Transitional relief scheme

If the rateable value of your property changed considerably either up or down in April 2017, then these changes will be phased in over a number of years. This is done by capping the amount a business rates bill can change between one year and the next.

Maximum increases and decreases in April 2017
Rateable value (from April 2017)Maximum increase in April 2017Maximum decrease in April 2017
£20,000 or less5%20%
£20,001 to £100,00012.5%10%
Over £100,00042%4.1%

Transitional relief is awarded automatically, and your business rates bill shows how this has been worked out. We compare your business rates in 2017-18 with what you were charged in 2016-17. If the difference is greater than the cap limits listed above an amount is either credited or taken away from your business rates charge. This is described on your bill using the following terms:

  • Notional Charge - business rates for 2017-18 before any reliefs are applied
  • Base Liability - business rates for 2016-17 before any reliefs were applied
  • Appropriate Fraction - the percentage figure by which your business rates bill is allowed to increase or decrease plus a figure for inflation
  • Transitional Limited Adjustment - amount of business rates you can be charged after transition has been applied
  • Transitional Adjustment - amount of transitional relief either added or taken away from your business rates charge

Small business rates relief

Discounts on your business rates bill are available if your property is occupied and has a small rateable value. From 1 April 2017 the thresholds for small business rates relief increased as follows:

Small business rates relief changes
Rateable values in 2016/2017Rateable values in 2017/2018Amount of small business rates relief
£6,000 or less£12,000 or less100%
£6,001 to £12,000£12,001 to £15,000Between 100% and 0% on a sliding scale - the larger the rateable value the smaller the amount of relief

Spring Budget 2017

The following measures were announced in the Spring Budget on 8 March 2017. We are working towards introducing the new schemes. The 2017-18 business rates bills were issued before we were able put these changes in place.

State Aid regulations will apply to all of the following schemes. These restrict the amount of state funding a business can receive.  

Loss of small business rate relief (supporting small businesses scheme)

Businesses who lost small business rate relief, following the revaluation of rateable values, will not see their bill increase by more than £50 a month (£600 a year).

This will apply to businesses which:

  • received small business rates relief in the 2016-17 financial year, and
  • saw an increase in their rateable value from April 2017, and
  • had a reduction in their small business rates relief from April 2017, and
  • saw their business rates bill increase by more than £600 per year from April 2017

The scheme will continue for 5 years. Each year increases in business rates bills for eligible businesses will be capped at £600. The discount will end:

  • when your bill reaches the amount you would have paid without the scheme
  • if the property falls vacant

We will issue new bills to eligible businesses as soon as we are able to do so. If you are having difficulties making payments in the meantime please contact us.

Pubs relief scheme

A £1000 business rates discount will be available for pubs with rateable values of less than £100,000. The discount will be available for 2017-18 only. Eligible pubs will be those who:

  • are 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

We will be contacting eligible businesses shortly regarding this scheme. If you are having difficulties making payments in the meantime please contact us.

Discretionary relief

The government will provide funding for discretionary relief for businesses who have seen an increase in their bills following the revaluation of rateable values in April 2017.

We are working to identify eligible businesses, and design a scheme which can distribute these funds fairly.