Local authorities across England have been urged by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) to participate in the second round of pilots for the 100% retention of business rates. Councils that take up the offer will be able to retain 100% of the growth in their business rates income for 2018/19.
This move builds on previous pilots previously launched in Liverpool, Greater Manchester, West Midlands, West of England, Cornwall and Greater London in April 2017, which will also continue into next year.
For the second round of pilots, the Government is hoping to test more technical aspects of the business rate retention scheme. It is encouraging councils working together to ‘pool’ their business rates, particularly groups of districts who are proposing to work with their county authority. The Government is keen to spread pilots across the country, and are particularly keen for rural authorities to come forward to see how the scheme would work across different authorities.
Communities Secretary Sajid Javid said:
“I am committed to helping local authorities control more of the money they raise locally,
By encouraging councils to work together, with the aim of sharing their business rates income, it enables them to take a much more strategic view on decisions that benefit the wider area.
Expanding the pilot programme is an opportunity to consider how rates retention could operate across the country and we will continue to work closely with local government to agree the best way forward.”
Successful bids to pilot the scheme will be announced in December 2017.