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Waverley Borough Council Committee System - Committee Document

Meeting of the Executive held on 09/07/2002
National Non-Domestic Rates - Rate Relief



ANNEXE 2
WAVERLEY BOROUGH COUNCIL
EXECUTIVE - 9TH JULY 2002

NATIONAL NON-DOMESTIC RATES - RATE RELIEF

1. Hardship provisions of the Local Government Finance Act 1988

1.1 Section 49 of the Local Government Finance Act 1988 gives a charging authority discretion to reduce or remit the payment of rates where an authority is satisfied that the ratepayer would (a) sustain hardship if it did not do so, and (b) it is reasonable for the authority to do so having regard to the interests of its Council Tax payers. For Member’s convenience, Section 49 is reproduced below:-

Section 49 - Reduction or remission of liability

(1) A charging authority may -

(a) reduce any amount a person is liable to pay to it under ss 43 or 45 above, or
(b) remit payment of the whole of any amount a person would otherwise be liable to pay to it under ss 43 or 45 above.

(2) But an authority may not act under this section unless it is satisfied that-

(a) the ratepayer would sustain hardship if the authority did not do so, and
(b) it is reasonable for the authority to do so, having regard to the interests of persons subject to its council tax levy.

1.2 The former Department of the Environment issued a Practice Note ‘Non-Domestic Rates - Discretionary Rate Relief’ which contains guidance on Hardship Remission and the following is an extract from that Practice Note:-

“6.2 The provisions contained in Section 49 to the Local Government Finance Act 1988 differ in two respects from the equivalent provision in paragraph 3A of Schedule 1 to the General Rate Act 1967 (inserted by Section 15(5) of the Local Government Act 1974). Firstly, before 1st April 1990, the power to reduce or remit applied only to unoccupied property rates, whereas the power in Section 49 may be exercised in respect of liability for both occupied and unoccupied property rates. Secondly, there is the requirement that, before exercising the power in Section 49, a charging authority must have regard to the interests of its council tax payers.

6.3 Whist it is for each authority to decide upon the facts of each case whether to exercise its powers under Section 49 - and to judge the extent of these powers - authorities may wish to bear the following guidance in mind:-
2. Financial Implications

Property Eligible
for Rate Relief
Type of Relief
Amount of Relief
Proportion offset against payments into NNDR Pool
Proportion borne locally by council taxpayers
Property granted relief on grounds of ‘hardship’
Discretionary
Up to 100%
75%
25%

comms/executive/2002-03/089 28915