In the 2016 Budget the Chancellor announced an extension of the small business rate relief scheme. From April 2017 the threshold will be doubled
Monday 17th of April 2017 09:00
In the 2016 Budget the Chancellor announced an extension of the small business rate relief scheme. From April 2017 the threshold will be doubled: properties with a rateable value below £12,000 will receive 100% relief from rates with tapered relief between £12,001 and £15,000. Although from April 2017 many smaller clubs will be exempt from rates, business rates will continue to be payable for larger clubs (or those who have invested in their facilities) and for those whose rateable value moves above the £12,000 threshold which could occur as a result the revaluations coming into effect from 1 April.
Guidance exists at the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) which is intended to ensure that rate bills for golf clubs are proportionate and directly connected to the financial position of clubs. The guidance establishes that if it can be shown that the only occupier of a sports facility is the current organisation or club then the rateable value of the clubhouse or ground must reflect that club’s ability to pay. The rating system requires that every property is assessed in its existing physical state and alternative uses are generally ignored. This means for rating purposes a golf club must be considered as a golf club, a tennis club as a tennis club etc.
Applying the guidance can have a significant impact on the assessment of a club. In addition, ability to pay does not just apply to local community clubs but it can also apply to a much wider range of sporting facilities. It is therefore important that clubs challenge their valuation where they believe it does not reflect their ability to pay.