Letter from the Leader of the Council

March 2023

We know that this remains a challenging time for businesses. We are continuing to listen to what you are telling us and to ask the government for more support – especially for central London which has been hit hard by changes in people’s working patterns following the pandemic and during the ongoing cost of living crisis.

Thank you to everyone who has shared their insights with us, including our five Business Improvement Districts, to help us understand more about how businesses are being affected. These conversations were reflected in the recent Full Council report on the Cost of Living Crisis and to help you, we are developing a dedicated business support and advice section on our website. In the meantime, you can visit the Greater London Authority’s (GLA) London Business Hub for advice at businesshub.london/cost-of-doing-business-hub.

This year, the government conducted a revaluation of business premises across the country. The new values will come into effect on 1 April 2023. This, coupled with successful appeals to the Valuation Office Agency, means the rateable value of many properties in Camden has changed. If you are unsure about how your rateable value has changed and/or you want to challenge it, visit gov.uk/find-business-rates. The multiplier that is used to calculate your business rates bill, which is set by the government, remains the same – 49.9p for the smaller premises and 51.2p for the larger premises. If your rateable value has decreased, this has been automatically reflected in your new bill with immediate effect. If it has increased, there are two schemes that aim to reduce the impact. If either of them apply to your business, they have been automatically applied to your bill – you do not need to apply.

1. The Transitional Relief (TR) scheme: this will limit the increase to 5% for those premises that previously had a rateable value of £28,000 or less, 15% for those with a previous rateable value between £28,001 and £100,000 and 30% for those with a previous rateable value over £100,000.

2. Supporting Small Business (SSB) scheme: if you received Small Business Rates relief in 2022/23 but have lost all or part of it this year because your rateable value had increased, your bill increase will be limited to £600.

If your business is in the hospitality, retail or leisure sectors, the government has increased the relief from 50% to 75%. However, the cash limit you can receive across all your business premises in England combined remains at £110,000. Where you received this relief last year, it will be automatically applied again and reflected in this year’s bill. If you want to make a new claim, find out about discounts or reliefs, understand your bill or see where your money goes visit camden.gov.uk/business-rates.

If you’re worried about your ability to pay business rates, we will try to help so please call our Business Rates Team on 020 7974 6460. We value all of the local businesses who have chosen to put down roots in Camden and we remain committed to working together to get through this challenging period and to support you now and in the future.
Many thanks,

Councillor Georgia Gould
Leader of the Council

 

NNDR Explanatory Notes 2023-24

Non-Domestic Rates

Non-Domestic Rates Non-Domestic Rates, or business rates, collected by local authorities are the way that those who occupy non-domestic property contribute towards the cost of local services. Under the business rates retention arrangements introduced from 1 April 2013, authorities keep a proportion of the business rates paid locally. The money, together with revenue from council taxpayers, locally generated income and grants from central government, is used to pay for the services provided by local authorities in your area. Further information about the business rates system, may be obtained at www.gov.uk/introduction-to-business-rates and at camden.gov.uk/businessrates.

Business Rate Supplements

The Business Rate Supplements Act 2009 enables levying authorities – county councils, unitary district councils and, in London, the Greater London Authority – to levy a supplement on the business rate to support additional projects aimed at economic development of the area. This power has also been extended to the mayors of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, Liverpool City Region, West of England, and West Midlands combined authorities. Business Rate Supplements (BRS) are not applicable to properties with a rateable value of £50,000 or below, and authorities have discretion to increase that threshold. The total maximum BRS which may be levied by a levying authority is 2p per pound of rateable value. Levying authorities have the power to apply such reliefs to the BRS as they think appropriate and in such cases must include an explanation of the rules for the application of those reliefs in the final prospectus for the BRS. The business rate supplement applicable in London is being levied by the Greater London Authority in relation to the Crossrail project, which delivered the Elizabeth line. The rateable value threshold in 2023-24 for the Crossrail BRS is £75,000. Further information may be found in the Crossrail BRS final prospectus which is available at london.gov.uk/crossrail-brs.

Business Rates Instalments

 Payment of business rate bills is automatically set on a 10-monthly cycle. However, the Government has put in place regulations that allow ratepayers to require their local authority to enable payments to be made through 12 monthly instalments. If you wish to take up this offer, you should contact the local authority as soon as possible.

National Non-Domestic Rating Multiplier

The local authority works out the business rates bill for a property by multiplying the rateable value of the property by the appropriate nondomestic multiplier. There are two multipliers: the national non-domestic rating multiplier and the small business non-domestic rating multiplier. The Government sets the multipliers for each financial year, except in the City of London where special arrangements apply. Ratepayers who occupy a property with a rateable value which does not exceed £50,999 (and who are not entitled to certain other mandatory relief[s] or are liable for unoccupied property rates) will have their bills calculated using the lower small business non-domestic rating multiplier, rather than the national non-domestic rating multiplier.

Both multipliers for a financial year are based on the previous year’s multiplier adjusted to reflect the Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation figure for the September prior to the billing year unless a lower multiplier is set by the Government. The current multipliers are shown on the front of your bill.

Rateable Value

Apart from properties that are exempt from business rates, each non-domestic property has a rateable value which is set by the Valuation Office Agency (VOA), an agency of Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs. They compile and maintain a full list of all rateable values, available at www.gov.uk/voa. The rateable value of your property is shown on the front of your bill. This broadly represents the yearly rent the property could have been let for on the open market on a particular date specified in legislation. For the current rating list, this date was set as 1 April 2021. The Valuation Office Agency (VOA) values all business properties for business rates. The valuation is based on information the VOA holds about your property. You can view and update this information at gov.uk/voa/valuation. You can contact the VOA at www.gov.uk/contact-voa. If you are unable to use the online service, you can also contact the VOA on 03000 501 501

Business Rate Reliefs

Depending on individual circumstances, a ratepayer may be eligible for a rate relief (i.e., a reduction in your business rates bill). There are a range of available reliefs. Further details are provided below and at www.gov.uk/introduction-to-business-rates or at camden.gov.uk/businessrates

Temporary Reliefs

Some of the permanent reliefs are set out below but other temporary reliefs may be introduced by the Government at a fiscal event. Further detail on current temporary relief is available at www.gov.uk/introduction-to-business-rates or at www.camden.gov.uk/businessrates. You should contact your local authority for details on the latest availability of business rates reliefs and advice on whether you may qualify.

Small Business Rates Relief

 If a ratepayer’s sole or main property has a rateable value which does not exceed an amount set out in regulations, the ratepayer may receive a percentage reduction in their rates bill for this property of up to a maximum of 100%. The level of reduction will depend on the rateable value of the property – for example eligible properties below a specified lower threshold will receive 100% relief while eligible properties above the lower threshold and below a specified upper threshold may receive partial relief. The relevant thresholds for relief are set out in regulations and can be obtained from your local authority or at gov.uk/introduction-to-business-rates.

Generally, this percentage reduction (relief) is only available to ratepayers who occupy either-

(a) one property, or

 (b) one main property and other additional properties providing those additional properties each have a rateable value which does not exceed the limit set in regulations.

The aggregate rateable value of all the properties mentioned in (b), must also not exceed an amount set in regulations. For those businesses that take on an additional property which would normally have meant the loss of small business rate relief, they will be allowed to keep that relief for a fixed additional period.

Full details on the relevant limits in relation to second properties and the current period for which a ratepayer may continue to receive relief after taking on an additional property can be obtained from your local authority or at gov.uk/introduction-to-business-rates.

 Certain changes in circumstances will need to be notified to the local authority by the ratepayer who is in receipt of relief (other changes will be picked up by the local authority). The changes which should be notified are-

(a) the property falls vacant,

(b) the ratepayer taking up occupation of an additional property, and

(c) an increase in the rateable value of a property occupied by the ratepayer in an area other than the area of the local authority which granted the relief.

Charity and Community Amateur Sports Club Relief

Charities and registered Community Amateur Sports Clubs are entitled to 80% relief where the property is occupied by the charity or the club and is wholly or mainly used for the charitable purposes of the charity (or of that and other charities), or for the purposes of the club (or of that and other clubs). The local authority has discretion to give further relief on the remaining bill. Full details can be obtained from the local authority.

Transitional Rate Relief

At a revaluation, some ratepayers will see reductions or no change in their bill whereas some ratepayers will see increases. Transitional relief schemes are introduced at each revaluation to help those facing increases. Transitional relief is applied automatically to bills. Further information about transitional arrangements may be obtained from the local authority or at gov.uk/introduction-to-business-rates.

Local Discounts and Hardship Relief

Local authorities have a general power to grant discretionary local discounts and to give hardship relief in specific circumstances. Full details can be obtained from the local authority.

Unoccupied Property Rating

Business rates are generally payable in respect of unoccupied non-domestic property. However, they are generally not payable for the first three months that a property is empty. This is extended to six months in the case of certain industrial premises, whilst certain other properties such as vacant listed buildings are not liable for business rates until they are reoccupied. Full details on exemptions can be obtained from your local authority or from gov.uk/apply-for-business-rate-relief.

Subsidy Control

The new UK subsidy control regime commenced from 4 January 2023. The new regime enables public authorities, including devolved administrations and local authorities, to deliver subsidies that are tailored for local needs. Public authorities giving subsidies must comply with the UK’s international subsidy control commitments. The subsidy control legislation provides the framework for a new, UK-wide subsidy control regime. Further information about subsidy control can be found on the gov.uk website at: gov.uk/government/collections/subsidy-control-regime.

 

Information Supplied with Demand Notices

 Information relating to the relevant and previous financial years in regard to the gross expenditure of the local authority is available at camden.gov.uk/businessrates. A hard copy is available on request – the Council’s contact details are shown on the front of your bill.

Online Self-Service

 You can go online to view your business rates balance. You are also able to make payments by debit or credit card, set up a Direct Debit, sign-up for e-billing, report a change of address and apply for exemptions and reliefs. Visit www.camden.gov.uk/businessrates for more information and to register.

Business Rates for Schools 2023/24

The Department of Education have asked Local Authorities to set up a new payment process for their maintained schools and academies. The process will involve the Council requesting payment directly from the Department of Education. However, the Department have asked local authorities to still issue business rate bills to the schools, but these are for “Information Only”.

The information we collect and process for administering business rates is used to accurately calculate your bill and apply any relevant reliefs. The information you provide may be shared with other council departments to help you access services more easily, and as set out in our Privacy Notice. We may share information with external agencies if we are required to by law or in accordance with Data Protection legislation, for the detection and prevention of fraud and crime. If you would like more information on how the council processes your personal information please see our Privacy Notice at www.camden.gov.uk/data-protection-privacy-and-cookies.

Business rates explained and how they are calculated

Non-domestic rates

National non-domestic rates, otherwise known as business rates, is a tax that the Council collects directly on behalf of Central Government, which is where it differs from council tax.

The charge was introduced in 1990 and calculated by multiplying the property’s rateable value, determined by the Valuation Office Agency (VOA), part of HMRC, against one of two poundage multipliers, based on the property’s rateable value.

The lower multiplier of 49.9p is for small businesses with a rateable value below £51,000 and the standard multiplier, which is 51.2p in the £1.00, is used for those properties with a rateable value above that amount.

These are set annually by Central Government and passed to the Council.

Money collected from business rates is shared out between the Government (33%), the Greater London Authority (37%) and Camden Council (30%). In 2022/23 we aim to collect £615m, of which Camden’s 30% share is £184.5m.

Camden is not allowed to keep all of this money, as it has a high business rates base, of which a large percentage is paid back to the Government to redistribute to those councils who by comparison have a low base. We also pay an additional growth levy, which offsets Camden’s locational advantage, against those councils that don’t achieve the same revenue return on a comparable increase in their rating base.

Business rates are charged on all assessments that are not used for domestic purposes (for example, shops, offices, factories, car parking spaces, and advertising sites). There are over 18,500 live assessments in Camden that pay business rates and we have the third largest rating base in the country, with a total rateable value of approximately £1.584 billion. This meant that in 2022/23, the business rates section collected over half a billion pounds.

The collection of your commercial recycling and waste is not included with the payment of non-domestic rates. Businesses are responsible to take the necessary steps to ensure their recycling and waste is disposed of correctly and to make their own arrangements for this. 

Visit Business Recycling and Waste

National Non-Domestic Rating Multiplier

The Council works out the business rates bill by multiplying the rateable value of the property by the appropriate multiplier. There are two multipliers: the standard non-domestic rating multiplier and the small business non-domestic rating multiplier. The former is higher to pay for small business rate relief. Except in the City of London where special arrangements apply, the Government sets the multipliers for each financial year for the whole of England according to formulae set by legislation. The current multipliers are shown on the front of your bill.

For this financial year the standard non-domestic rating multiplier has been set at 0.512 pence in the pound and the small business non-domestic multiplier has been set at 0.499 pence in the pound.

Business Improvement District (BID) levy

What is a BID?

Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) are business led partnerships created through a ballot process to deliver additional services to local businesses. A BID is a defined area in which a levy is charged on business rate payers in addition to the business rates bill. This levy is used to develop projects which benefit businesses in the local area.

Find more general information about BIDs from GOV.UK

BIDs in Camden

There are five business improvement districts in Camden, which were introduced following successful ballots being conducted in their respective areas. They each have their own rules and BID levy is applied to rated properties in the BID area with a rateable value of:

These have all been set up by the business community with the support of local businesses, to help provide additional services and facilities within their given areas.

While the Council is responsible for the billing and collecting the money on behalf of the BID operators, Camden does not determine how the BID is operated. Any queries regarding each respective BID should be directed to the relevant operator.

Payments

If your query relates to payment please contact the business rates section