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Explain Business Rates

Business rates are the way that businesses and those who occupy non-domestic property contribute towards the cost of local services.

The business rates are collected by the council and sent to the central government, which redistributes the money back to local councils according to the number of people living in the area. This money, together with council tax payments and government funding, pays for the services the council provides.

Apart from properties that are exempt from Business Rates, each non-domestic property has a ‘rateable value’ which is normally set by the valuation officers of the Valuation Office Agency (VOA). It draws up and maintains a full list of all rateable values. The rateable value of a property is usually its rental value on open market as at 1 April 2008.

The Valuation Office Web Site has information about the valuation of a business property. It also has a search facility so you can check the existing rateable value for your property.

For composite properties which are partly domestic and partly non-domestic, the rateable value relates to the non-domestic part only. The rateable values of all commercial properties within Powys are shown in the local rating list.

Every five years all non-domestic (business) properties are re-assessed and given a new rateable value. This is called the revaluation and the next one takes effect from 1 April 2015.

Revaluation does not raise extra revenue overall. Instead, the revaluation reflects changes in the property market across Wales and redistributes the same total tax liability for business rates. Some rates bills will rise, some will stay the same and some will fall.

You can see the list – and more information on the 2010 valuation – on the Valuation Office web site.

When you get the details of your new rateable value, you should check the details and compare them with other properties in the rating list. If you think that the assessment or any of the details provided are wrong, contact the Valuation Office Agency immediately.

Please note that the council can’t alter your rateable value – only the Valuation Office Agency can do this.

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