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Business rates help pay for local services and are collected by the local authority. All clubs, county boards or councils which own or occupy property pay business rates.
The rates bill is based on rateable value to which a multiplier is applied. The multiplier is set by central government which also provides rate relief schemes such as those for small businesses.
Local authorities can grant discretionary relief which is mainly subsidised from a central pool.
Many sports organisations fail to challenge the VO assessment and can end up paying more than they should. Professional advice may well be worthwhile and may help reduce larger valuations.
Mandatory rate relief is available for charities and community amateur sports clubs.
The rate of relief is 80% (met entirely from the central pool and therefore costing the authority nothing) so the rates bill can be reduced to only 20% with the opportunity for the local authority to eliminate the charge altogether by granting 20% discretionary relief.
Clubs, county boards and councils should be aware that when a facility improvement project is undertaken, the clubs, county board or council will most likely end up with a larger rates bill to pay on the new facilities. The clubs, county boards or council will need to factor this into post development budgets.
Clubs, county boards or councils should review their business rates bill to check they are not being overcharged.