Rates relief on way after councils join forces for smaller traders

Leader of Leeds City Council, Judith Blake.
Leader of Leeds City Council, Judith Blake.

Rates relief on the way for small and medium Leeds businesses

In the Spring Budget last March, Chancellor Philip Hammond announced £300m over four years for local authorities to design and implement their own business relief schemes. This is intended to support traders affected by the 2017 rates revaluation, which according to a Leeds City Council report “was very mixed, both nationally and locally” with large increases and decreases in rateable value.

The council is to receive £2,892,931 up until 2021.

However, all West Yorkshire local authorities have combined efforts and developed a to help their small and medium businesses. According to the council report, this was decided “on the basis that most properties fall within these bands and that large businesses may be better placed to absorb the steep rise in rates”.

It adds: “All national, statutory reliefs, reductions and exemptions would be applied before any calculation for the local scheme could be considered.”

The plan was approved by Leeds City Council’s Executive Board, chaired by leader Coun Judith Blake, on Wednesday.

But its full roll-out is subject to approval by the other West Yorkshire councils as well.

Any remaining Government funds are to support large businesses on a case-by-case basis. Two other national schemes – support for businesses losing Small Business Rate Relief and a £1,000 rate discount for pubs with a rateable value of up to £100,000 – are also to be rolled out in Leeds.

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