Councillors to discuss change to Discretionary Business Rate Relief Scheme

​Date: 01/03/2016

PR ref: 6183

Senior Wakefield councillors are to discuss changing the business rates relief scheme which could set new rules for charities based outside of the district.

Around 400 charities and not-for-profit organisations in the district currently benefit from a total of £1.2m of financial support under the Council's discretionary business rate relief scheme. 

Members of the Cabinet, meeting on March 8, will discuss changing the system, after a public consultation and a review of the scheme.

It is proposed that charities with their headquarters outside the Wakefield area, would receive a lower level of business rate relief from April 2017, compared to the current level.

Councillors are also being recommended to agree that business rate relief continues to apply to organisations with their headquarters in the Wakefield district. This would mean local charities and not-for profit organisations would be unaffected by a change in the rules. They would continue to receiving the same level of financial relief.

Cllr Graham Stokes, Cabinet Member for Modern Public Services, said: "At this time of reduced council budgets it is right that we review the existing business rate relief scheme.

"We want to ensure the scheme is appropriate. So the proposal is that from April 2017 discretionary rate relief is awarded to organisations which are based in Wakefield."

A consultation with the public, businesses and organisations in the district, found that the majority of people supported the idea of Wakefield based-charities and not-for-profit organisations continuing to receive business rate relief.