We have discretion to grant relief of up to 100 per cent of the rates on properties occupied by certain non-profit making bodies, or in the case of registered charities that are entitled to 80 per cent mandatory relief, to top up the relief to 100 per cent. Those qualifying for relief is varied, but all are non-profit making.
When making a decision on discretionary relief, we'll look at the contribution that the organisation makes to the area. Other criteria that are assessed are:
Access and membership
The level of the joining or membership fee and restrictions placed on membership:
- an excessive membership fee will be seen as restrictive
- membership should be open to everybody
- 75 per cent of members must be residents from the city
The level of effort made to encourage membership from groups such as young people, disabled persons, ethnic minorities, unemployed people:
- membership should consist of at least 25 per cent of people from these groups
- the facilities should be made available to people other than members
- differential fee structures for such groups
- schemes of education or training for such groups
We will take into account whether the building is accessible to disabled people or if attempts are being made to make it accessible.
In the case of sports clubs we will consider whether an application has been made by the club for Community Amateur Sports Club (CASC) status. If CASC status is granted, 80 per cent rate relief will be granted.
- Sports clubs should contact the HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) for an application form, call: 0845 3020 203 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- No application for relief will be considered without evidence of a refused application for Community Amateur Sports Club status
Provided an application is received in a reasonable time to have been considered by 30 September, then an award can be made for the financial year in which the application was made and the preceding one. It cannot legally be backdated further. We will carry out regular reviews of those organisations in receipt of relief.
We will fund 25 per cent of any discretionary relief granted; the remaining 75 per cent is funded by central government. If the organisation is a registered charity and is in receipt of 80 per cent mandatory rate relief, we will fund 75 per cent of any 'top up' discretionary relief granted.
- Where relief is granted to organisations funded by us, the cost of the relief will be met by adjusting grant levels to ensure that there is no adverse effect on payers of council tax
- Applications for relief that meet the criteria will be considered on their merits in relation to our overall financial position.
How to apply
Download a discretionary relief claim. Return your completed form with the requested documents to the Business Rates Service, PO Box 3, Manchester, M15 5BA or fax: 0161 274 7215.