Venue: Spencer Room
Contact: Susan Lightwing
Welcome and Evacuation Procedure
The Chair welcomed all present to the meeting and read out the Building Evacuation Procedure.
Declarations of Interest
any declarations of interest.
no declarations of interest received at this point in the meeting.
The minutes of the meeting of the Economic Development, Environment and Infrastructure Scrutiny Panel held on 8 December 2022 were taken as read and approved as a correct record.
Business Rates Pooling
The Head of Finance and Investment will be in attendance to provide the Panel with information in relation to Business Rates Pooling.
RECOMMENDATION: that the Panel determine whether further information is required.
The Head of Finance and
Investment gave a presentation in relation to Business Rates Pooling. Business rates were a key funding source for
the Council and a complex topic. Essentially
business rates were an occupation tax on companies that occupied premises. There had been different ways of collecting
and distributing business rates and it was a source of Council funding. Middlesbrough Council acted as the Billing
Authority for the collecting income from all business properties in the
The basis of the business rate
charge was the rateable value of the property based on a multiplier in the
pound. The Government’s Valuation Office
determined and set a comparable rateable value for every property. The Valuation Office had criteria including
floor space, type of occupation, and age of the building to set the rateable
value. The multiplier was set by the
Government each year in the Fiscal Statement.
The multiplier for a business was currently 49.9 pence in the pound and
for a small business 48.5 pence in the pound.
The national valuation was
updated every 4 to 5 years and the Valuation Office would inspect certain
properties and re-assess them. For
example, if the use of the property had changed. Like for like uses might be inspected every few
years. The Council needed to keep track
of properties that were empty or where business uses had changed. Initially no business rates were payable on
an empty property for the first twelve months but the charge then doubled.
The Government’s business rates
multiplier usually increased by the rate of inflation each year. However, since inflation was currently around
10%, the Government had frozen the multiplier to try and protect businesses.
Prior to 2013, every business
premises had a rateable value and a national multiplier was used to calculate
business rates. The Council, as the
Billing Authority, would collect that amount and give 100% to the
Government. The Government would then
redistribute the money collected based on population. This meant there was no relationship between
business rates and growth in the local area.
In 2013 the Government
established Business Rates Retention; so if businesses grew in the area, the
Local Authority could keep some of that growth.
The rateable value of Middlesbrough was about £95 million, so around £45
to £50 million was collected. 50% of the
business rates collected was paid to the Government, 1% to the Fire Authority
and 49% retained by Middlesbrough Council, which equated to around £24
million. As part of the local government
finance settlement, if Middlesbrough went below the safety net of £24 million
the Government would provide a top up grant.
A levy charge would be made if that amount went higher.
In 2013 Middlesbrough Council was
collecting around £40 million in business rates and was now collecting around
£30 million. The rateable value and the
amount being collected was now significant lower and the Government protected
the Council once the amount dropped below 10% of the original starting point.
Payments collected on business rates ... view the full minutes text for item 22/54
Date of Next Meeting - 15 February 2023
The time and date of the next meeting of the Economic Development, Environment and Infrastructure Scrutiny Panel was confirmed as Wednesday 15 February 2023 at 10.30 am.
Overview and Scrutiny Board Update
The Chair will provide a verbal update on matters considered at the meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Board held on 12 January 2023.
Items considered at the meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Board held on 12 January 2023 were:
· Executive Forward Work Programme.
· Executive Member Update – Neighbourhood Safety.
· Scrutiny Chairs’ Updates.
Any other urgent items which in the opinion of the Chair, may be considered
Council Motion No. 153 – Toxic Chemicals in the River Tees
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs had commissioned
an independent expert assessment of the unusual crustacean mortality in the
north east of England in 2021/2022. A
report from the Crustacean Mortality Expert Panel (CMEP) was currently awaited.
Members were extremely concerned in relation to the impact on both fishermens’ livelihoods and the damage caused to marine
life, which was potentially linked to the dredging taking place in the River Tees
for the provision of a deep water berth at Teesport.
A further update would be provided at the next scrutiny panel meeting.