Business rates

Full-fibre and 5G could boost council revenue by £10,000


Investing in full-fibre and 5G could increase a local authority’s revenue intake by £10,000, new research suggests.

Local government faces £25bn funding shortfall by 2025


Local councils will face a £25bn funding gap by 2025 as funding reforms will shrink grants to almost zero, a new report has argued.

Fair Funding Review delayed until next year


The Fair Funding Review and 75% business rate retention will be delayed until 2020-21.

High street retailers call for reform of ‘broken’ business rates


Over 50 high street retailers have signed a letter calling on Chancellor Sajid Javid to reform the business rates system.

Councils accused of ‘criminalising’ businesses over rates arrears


Local authorities are ‘criminalising’ struggling businesses such as pubs and shops by taking them to court over non-payment of business rates, a real estate advisor claims.

Plans to hike business rates in the West Midlands dropped


Businesses in the West Midlands will breath a sigh of relief after an announcement that a planned business rate hike is unlikely to go ahead.

Court date set for councils' £2bn tax dispute with NHS trusts


A court date has been set for the long-running legal dispute between councils and NHS trusts over rates relief.

Sunak brings forward revaluation of business rates


Business rates will reflect property values more accurately after a shake-up being introduced in new legislation.

Mayor calls for creation of 'free trade zones' in city centres


West Midlands Mayor Andy Street has called for a 'wholesale review' of the business rates system to save struggling high streets.

Government pays £15m to councils after business rate 'error'


The Government may have to pay out up to £15m to councils after it made yet another error in its business rate pilot administration.

British Steel’s financial troubles could cost councils nearly £3m


Local authorities could lose £2.8m in business rates should British Steel go into administration, a real estate company has calculated.

Debenhams’ CVA to cost councils £8.5m in rates


Local authorities are set to lose millions of pounds worth of business rates due to Debenhams financial difficulties, ratings experts say.

Over 1,500 pubs close since controversial business rates revaluation


Hundreds of local pubs closed down last year due to a ‘myriad of cost pressures’, new research reveals.

Business rates appeals will cost councils over £1bn


Councils in England predict that business rates appeal will cost them £1.1bn in 2019/20, new figures have revealed.

Business rates ‘shakeup’ must be properly managed, warn experts


Finance experts have called on the Government to explain how changes to the business rates retention system next year will work.

Counties call for full baseline reset of business rates in 2020


County councillors have called for a review of the business rates system including the tax paid by large retailers.

MPs pile pressure on Government over business rates reform


MPs have urged ministers to assess specific proposals for reforming business rates by the autumn.

Council revenues unlikely to ‘keep pace’ with demand on services


Revenues from business rates and council tax will not keep pace with rising costs and demands for services, financial experts have warned.

Councils losing millions through tax loophole


A loophole that could be costing English local authorities millions in lost council tax is to be reviewed by ministers.

The changing shape of the local government finance system


Aileen Murphie explores how local government finance has changed since 2010 and what challenges councils face leading up to 2020.

Budget 2018: Google and Amazon to be hit by new tax


A new UK digital services tax aimed at giants such as Google and Amazon will be narrowly targeted on UK-generated revenues from April 2020.

Liverpool mayor calls for ‘fair funding formula’ for councils


The mayor of Liverpool has called for a Royal Commission to ensure a ‘fair funding formula’ for local council services.

Budget 2018: Cash for care could be swallowed up by rates relief


Chancellor Phillip Hammond is expected to announce nearly a billion pounds for social care in an austerity-busting budget later today.

London’s councils awarded £47m funding boost for digital infrastructure


London’s growth in business rates will be used to fund eight projects to improve the capital’s digital infrastructure.

Is the declining high street a final nail in the coffin of local government services?


Nigel Wilcock, executive director of the Institute of Economic Development, explores the link between the declining high street and local services.

Khan announces projects to benefit from £112m business rates fund


The mayor of London has unveiled the first projects to benefit from a £112m investment fund which has been generated from the growth of business rate receipts.

Business rate discounts should drive adoption of Living Wage


A union has called on London boroughs to follow Brent Council by developing a business rate scheme which incentivises employers to pay a living wage.

Councils sending bailiffs to 200 firms every day over unpaid business rates


Councils are sending bailiffs to more than 200 businesses every day due to unpaid rates, a new investigation has revealed.

More councils urged to take part in business rates pilots


Councils are being asked to apply for powers to retain 75% of the growth in income raised through business rates.

Councils sue one in six businesses over rate arrears figures reveal


Nearly 190,000 companies were taken to court last year by councils over non-payment of business rates, a new investigation has revealed.

Call for business rates to be scrapped


Business rates should be scrapped and local authorities should be handed a swathe of new powers to revitalise struggling town centres, a major new review has urged.

Council chiefs warn of business rates appeals ‘risk’


Council leaders have called on Whitehall to protect them against the risk of business rates appeals as figures reveal over 100,000 cases remain unresolved.

Business rates retention should not replace grants for councils, MPs say


The further retention of business rates should be an extra source of funding for local authorities squeezed by Whitehall cuts and not a replacement for existing grants, MPs say.

Placing faith in the pilots


From this month, a second wave of pilots have started 100% rates retention. Neil Amin-Smith and David Phillips from the Institute for Fiscal Studies examine the Government’s claims regarding these pilots.

Councils should not pick up costs of reversing ‘staircase tax’ warn MPs


Councils should not be financially worse off if the Government decides to reverse the controversial ‘staircase tax’, MPs have warned today.

Business rate pilot councils could see £870m cash boost says think tank


Local authorities are missing out on millions of pounds because of an £870m cash boost to business rate pilot councils, according to a study today from the respected Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) think-tank.

Charity shops face business rates relief ‘postcode lottery’


Charity shops are ‘falling victim’ to inconsistent and unfair policies on business rates relief and waste management, charity representatives say.

IFS implores action over growing social care funding chasm


The Government will need to scrap its funding reforms, significantly boost top-ups or centralise care if it is to plug the social care funding gap, the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) has warned today.

Javid orders review after second council payment error


The Government has ordered a review after being forced to admit a second mistake in as many months in the way it calculates council payments.

The long road to rates retention


Why has the move towards 100% retention of business rates been so slow? Neil Merrick investigates.

Hammond offers little respite for council finances


Council finances were offered little respite in chancellor Philip Hammond’s Spring Statement today.

Business rates retention unlikely to deliver growth, financial experts say


Business rates retention will lead to divergences in funding for English councils without necessarily delivering the expected growth, think tank argues.

The extent of business rates relief fraud


It is estimated that there could be over £25m worth of fraud being perpetuated by businesses falsely claiming Small Business Rates Relief across England.

£140m investment ‘fantastic’ example of devolution in action, Khan says


The mayor of London has announced a £140m investment boost to help fight the capital’s housing crisis and improve the economy.

Stormont criticised for proposal to cut £20m in rates support


Northern Ireland local authority chiefs have criticised as ‘anti-investment’ a proposal to cut nearly £20m of support from Stormont.

‘Staircase tax’ could impact council finances, committee chair warns


The Government’s plans to re-introduce the so-called ‘staircase tax’ could have a detrimental impact on local government finances, committee chair warns.

Government is misguided on business rates, London Councils warns


The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government’s (MHCLG) belief that councils do not want 100% business rates retention is misguided, London Councils has warned.

Devolution - have the wheels fallen off the wagon?


With the news that no new devolution deals were agreed last year, Mark Whitehead explores why the policy seems to have come to a grinding halt.

Revaluation of rates leading to councils referring 41,000 businesses to bailiffs


Councils have referred an estimated 41,000 businesses to bailiffs over unpaid business rates, new research has revealed.

Federation criticises 46 councils for lack of progress on business rates relief


The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has called on councils which have still not passed on government money to help firms hit by hikes in business rates to do so before Christmas.

Watchdog calls for more transparency over non-domestic rates distribution


The Scottish Government must be more transparent in the way it reports on its non-domestic (business) rates, the official financial watchdog has warned.

Budget 2017: Council chiefs warn against ‘devolution deadlock’


Local government leaders today warned of the dangers of ‘devolution deadlock’ in their response to the Autumn Budget.

Budget 2017: Devolution and housing key planks in speech


Philip Hammond’s first Autumn Budget has seen the chancellor unveil a raft of new devolution deals, measures to boost housing and changes to resolve issues with controversial Universal Credit.

Six in ten councils make progress on business rates relief


More than 200 councils have now reissued business rates bills in accordance with the Government’s discretionary relief package, latest figures have shown.

100% of business rates retention could leave counties ‘worse off’, analysis shows


County council leaders have warned the Government about the risks of 100% retention of business rates as a new analysis reveals the policy could ‘worsen the financial plight’ of county authorities.

Government 'fully committed' to rates retention


The Government is 'fully committed to proceeding with’ business rates retention, according to local government minister Marcus Jones.

Councils to be ‘named and shamed’ for not passing on business rates relief


Councils that fail to get business rates relief schemes in place by the beginning of next month could be named and shamed by the Government.

Councillor hits out at Javid’s ‘prevarication’ on council finances


A Basildon councillor has waited over two months for a response from Sajid Javid to a letter he wrote concerning the future of council finances.

Councils urged to apply for new business rates pilots


Local authorities in England have been invited to participate in a second round of 100% business rates retention pilots as pools across economic areas.

Councils ‘sitting on’ £31m of discretionary funds meant for pubs, retailers say


Millions of pounds of business rates relief promised in the spring budget earlier this year has still not been forwarded to pubs, according to new research.

Campaigners call for more business rates relief for pubs


The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) has called on the Government to help local pubs by cutting their business rate bills.

Councils hit out at 'shambolic' delays in business rates relief


Councils have hit back at claims over 'shambolic' delays in handing out Government cash to help small firms cope with business rate rises.

Counties call for 'new deal' from Government


County councils in England have called for a ‘new deal’ during the current Parliament, including devolved powers akin to those held by Britain’s major cities.

Small firms call for end to ‘shambolic delay’ in business rates grants


Small firms have urged the Government to make councils speed up giving out grants to help cope with big increases in business rates.

Porter: Abolish council tax referendums


Referendums on council tax limits should be abolished in order to secure the financial sustainability of councils, Lord Porter will argue later today.

Queen's speech fails to mention reforms to local government finance


The Local Government Finance Bill has been dropped from the legislative programme, leaving plans for business rates retention in limbo.

Rise in business rates will threaten nurseries, warns committee


A Scottish parliamentary committee will write to local authorities and the Scottish Government about pressure childcare organisations are facing over increased business rates.

Council chiefs call on all parties to adopt ten-point plan


Local government leaders have called on all political parties to adopt its 10-point plan to boost local services and drive economic growth.

General Election could delay reform of local government finance


Plans to roll out 100% business rates retention from April 2019 have been thrown into the air by the calling of the General Election.

Local taxes in Scotland should be fully devolved, think tank argues


Council tax and business rates in Scotland should be devolved in full to local authorities, think tank says.

Councils urged to distribute £300m business rate relief fund


Councils are being urged to distribute the funding to help businesses affected by the increase in rates as ‘speedily and fairly’ as possible.

Devolution of business rates should benefit local communities, councillors say


Extra money raised under policy of giving councils complete control over business rates should be used to plug gaps in spending on services, councils demand.

Business rates relief does ‘little to ease the pain’, council warns


The chancellor’s plans to allocate a nearly half billion pound package to ease the burden of a business rates revaluation does ‘little to ease the pain’, London council says.

Budget 2017: Hammond announces £435m business rate package


Local authorities will be able to access a £300m fund in order to ease business rate revaluation challenges in their local areas, chancellor Philip Hammond has announced.

Budget 2017: What should councils look out for?


Chancellor Philip Hammond has already dismissed announcing a ‘spending spree’ in his budget speech tomorrow, but what should local government watch out for?

Councils 'increasingly dependent' on business rates from London


London councils’ business rate tariffs are set to rise by £400m a year to £730m, to top up income elsewhere, according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies.

Communities secretary to ‘rethink’ business rates revaluation


Sajid Javid has promised to work ‘closely’ with the chancellor in order to support the small businesses who will be hit the hardest by a rates increase.

Scottish businesses to pay same or lower rates next year, Holyrood says


Seven out of 10 business properties in Scotland will pay the same rates or less next year, with half paying nothing at all, says the Scottish finance secretary.

Gov’s planned block on business rates appeals ‘illegal’


Business leaders believe the Government’s planned block on appeals against incorrect business rates valuations may be ‘illegal’ and have urged Whitehall to rethink its policy.

Local authorities face ‘collapse of vital services’ due to underfunding


Nearly eight out of 10 councils lack confidence in the sustainability of local government finances, survey reveals.

Devolution: what’s in store for local authorities in 2017?


Will 2017 bring the same radical changes to local government we saw last year? Andrew Jepp investigates.

Top 100: Our most popular local government stories of 2016


See our countdown of the 100 most popular stories on LocalGov during 2016, with council pensions, the impact of Brexit and election fiascos dominating the headlines.

What to look out for in 2017


As a turbulent 2016 draws to close what are the legal issues which loom on the 2017 horizon for local authorities?

‘How the hell are we going to pay for social care?’


William Eichler talks to chief executive of the LGiU, Jonathan Carr-West, to find out more about what the Autumn Statement didn't say.

Business rates reforms ‘wildly unfair’ on small businesses


Business leaders have warned SMEs could be hit with hundreds of millions of pounds of unfair taxes if the Government goes ahead with plans to stop businesses appealing incorrect business rates calculations.

£2.4bn in unallocated business rates could 'ease social care crisis'


Councils should be given the £2.4bn in unallocated business rates to support social care services, a trade union has argued today.

Scrap 20 taxes argue economists


Council tax, business rates and a raft of other taxes should be abolished and replaced with a simpler system, according to a new report published today.

Research reveals winners and losers in council funding reforms


Funding reforms could affect the quality of council services across the country, with county and metropolitan councils likely to lose significant sums of money by 2020, new research has warned.

Birmingham to support West Midlands business rates pilot


Birmingham City Council is set to offer its support for a West Midlands-wide business rates pilot.

London business not ‘cash cow’ for councils


An industry group has warned Whitehall not to turn business into a ‘cash cow’ as part of the overhaul of business rates.

First Minister of Wales lays out plan for ‘critical five years’


The First Minister of Wales has set out his government’s five year plan for the country, including reducing business rates bills and reviewing council tax.

Councils forced to write off millions in unpaid business rates


Councils are being forced to write off millions of pounds in unpaid business rates due to a legal loophole, town hall chiefs have warned today.

Counties and districts voice concerns over business rate pilots


Counties and districts have agreed a shared vision for localised business rates.

County leaders warn of 'unfair' business rate returns


The retention of business rates could end up being unfair in two tier areas, new research has warned.

Councils and campaigners at odds over future of property taxes


Councils have called for greater powers over tax to fund infrastructure, despite a pressure group calling for the ‘abolition’ of stamp duty.

Reform of business rate appeals to be in place next year


The Government is pushing ahead with plans to reform the businesses rate appeals system, in a bid to cut down on speculative appeals.

Clark launches review into future of council funding


Councils have been urged to ‘shape their financial future’ as communities secretary Greg Clark launches a consultation into the retention of business rates.

Councils to use £1.9bn from reserves to fund services


Councils are planning to use £1.9bn of their cash reserves in the next financial year, according to official figures.

Think tank sets out new model for business rates reform


Government plans to devolve business rates to local authorities fails to provide poorer areas with an incentive to grow their economies, a think tank has warned.

Whitehall must tackle problems with reformed business rates system, warn MPs


The Government must address a ‘host of issues’, including problems with appeals and plans to withdraw Revenue Support Grant (RSG), before bringing in 100% business rates retention for councils, committee urges.

Slavery in supply chains image

Slavery in supply chains

Tiffany Cloynes and Clare Hardy explore what responsibility councils may have in the future to eliminate slavery and human trafficking in their supply chains.
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