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Rates change to be beneficial
2:00pm Friday 26th October 2012 in News
PUTTING business rates under council control will give local authorities a greater stake in the economic future of their communities, says Forest of Dean District Council.
At present all business rates – some £19 billion a year nationally – are redistributed by the government to ensure that rich areas with small populations do not benefit over poorer neighbourhoods.
But changes to be set out in next year’s Local Government Finance Bill will mean only 50 per cent of the income collected will be passed on, with the remainder shared locally.
Councillor Brian Robinson, cabinet member for efficient council, said: “Under the new plans every million pounds collected in rates will mean £200,000 for the district. The proposals promote financial autonomy and give councils a greater stake in the economic future of their community.”
The council has voted in principle to join a new county-wide business rates pool – subject to a thorough assessment of the risks and rewards.
Coun Robinson said: “In most circumstances pooling our income with other councils will enable more support for economic development.”