In formulating our policy for discretionary rate relief we have taken into account the following factors:
The extent to which the organisation:
- meets local needs in the community and either
- provides a valuable service to the community or
- provides facilities which indirectly relieves the Authority of the need to do so subject to the conditions that:
- membership, where appropriate, or facilities, are available to the general public and not unduly restricted; and
- premises are not used for sales of a commercial nature on more than ten occasions in any one year.
Organisations that WILL normally be eligible for discretionary rate relief
- Official Scout and Guide Organisations, Boys Brigade and Youth Clubs will be granted discretionary rate relief from the remaining rate liability (20%), provided they can demonstrate that their premises are used solely or mainly by them, or by them and other non-profit making services, for the benefit of the Community
- Village/Parish Halls and Community Centres
- Day Centres for the elderly and for special needs groups
- Charity shops:
- charitable organisations will receive 20% top up (in addition to the 80% mandatory already applying)
- non profit-making organisations may receive 100% discretionary relief.
Organisations NOT normally eligible for discretionary rate relief
- National or regional offices of a charitable organisation. However, the administrative offices of charitable organisations providing wholly or predominantly for the community of Epsom & Ewell will be considered for full relief
- No organisation having a permanent bar serving alcohol will be given rate relief
- No relief will be granted to voluntary aided, voluntary controlled or grant-aided schools.
To qualify for hardship relief, a business will:
- generally be that of a general store, a post office or a food shop
- generally be the only business of that nature within the settlement area
- provide evidence to support the application
- provide a copy of the latest set of audited accounts for the business.
The following conditions will also apply:
- before reaching a decision, the views of the local ward members will be sought
- the maximum amount of relief that will be permitted will be 100% of the net rate liability
- applications will be reviewed annually.
The interests of the individual ratepayer will be balanced against the wider interest of the taxpayers and the potential impact on the local community. The 'interests' of Council taxpayers in an area go wider than direct financial interests. For example, where the employment prospects in the area would be worsened by a company going out of business, or the amenities of an area might be reduced by, for instance, the only provider of a service in the area.
The hardship caused may be, for example, where a business has been affected by severe loss of trade due to external factors such as natural disasters. However, the Council will wish to consider how the business can demonstrate such loss of trade or business. For example, do accounts, order books, till receipts or VAT returns show a marked decline in trade compared to corresponding periods in previous years?
Telephone: 01372 732000