Invitation for new 100% business rates retention pilots

posted on 06 September 2017, updated on 14 September 2017

The DCLG has issued a prospectus inviting local authorities to participate in new 100% business rates retention pilots for 2018/19.

The document, Invitation to Local Authorities in England to Pilot 100% Business Rates Retention in 2018 to 2019 and to Pioneer New Pooling and Tier-split Models, explains the criteria that will be used to assess applications, which are due by 27 October 2017.

The new pilots are intended to help explore options for future reforms to local government finance. However plans for the intended move to 100% retention by 2020 are currently uncertain after the Local Government Finance Bill was halted by the general election.

The new pilots will run alongside the five existing pilots that began in April 2017. Local authorities are invited to apply jointly as part of pools, forming functional economic areas. All local authorities in the proposed pool will need to agree, and to put in place local arrangements to pool their additional business rates income.

The previous set of pilots included a ‘no detriment’ clause, however it has not yet been decided whether this will apply to the new pilots, and applicants are asked to state whether they would still be willing to participate without the benefit of ‘no detriment’.

The successful applications are expected to be announced before or alongside the draft local government finance settlement in December 2017.

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