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Business Rates

The 2014-15 financial information booklet is available in the Documents section.

Business rates are the way in which businesses contribute to the cost of local services.

Although collected by local authorities the amount payable is determined by central government. The government department responsible for business rates is the Department of Communities and Local Government. Further information regarding business rates and the rates retention scheme which started in April 2013 can be found on the website in the External links section. 

The Related Pages section provides more information on:

  • how business rates are calculated;
  • how to appeal against the rateable value;
  • how to set up a direct debit;
  • business rates sent by email;
  • small business rate relief; and
  • help with business rates if you are having problems paying.
  • relief from business rates, including the new retail relief

If you wish to notify us of your liability for business rates or if you can't find the information you require please use the Contact us section to email us or phone us on 0113 2476983.

Frequently asked questions

Why is my rateable value higher than my rent?

The current rateable value is intended to be an estimate of the annual rent that a property would have received at 1st April 2008.If rents have fallen since then because of the economic situation the rateable value will not necessarily be reduced as well. The next revaluation, effective from 1st April 2015, will be based on the rent passing as at 1st April 2013, so any reduction in rents will be reflected then. Further information on how the rateable value has been calculated is available on the Valuation Office website.

Valuation Office Agency website

What rates relief is available in the Enterprise Zone?

Relief of up to approximately £55,000 per year is available for any business which locates in the Aire Valley Enterprise Zone before 1st April 2015. The relief can be awarded for up to five years. Relief from rates is considered to be State Aid and is subject to the on such aid (currently 200,000 Euros over a three year period. For further information contact the Business Rates team

I have appealed against my rateable value - do I still have to pay?

Yes. Rates are payable based on the rateable value which appears in the current Rating List and if you do not pay as shown on your bill, further action will have to be taken, even though an appeal may be outstanding. If your appeal is successful and your rates are reduced, interest may be payable on any overpayment.

What services do I receive in return for paying my Business Rates?

Your rates are not a payment for specific services but are a contribution from businesses towards all of the services provided by the Council for the community, such as local transport, education and housing, all of which indirectly benefit businesses in the area.

Why have you sent me a bill when I already pay rent inclusive of rates to my landlord?

Under Rating law, we must issue a bill to the occupier of a property regardless of any agreement which may exist between the occupier and the landlord. You may wish to contact your landlord either to arrange that he/she will pay direct to this office on your behalf, or to renegotiate your rent agreement to remove the rate element. However, either way, if the account is not kept up to date, action will have to be taken against you, not your landlord, because you are the person who is liable.

Why have you sent me a Reminder/Summons?

By law, the Council must send a Reminder if your instalments are not up-to-date. If you do not bring them up-to-date within 7 days and then keep them up to date, you lose the right to pay by instalments. If you do not comply with the Reminder, you will be sent a Summons and will have to pay court costs as well as your Business Rates.

If you receive a Summons and do not pay in full before the hearing, the Council will apply for a ‘liability order’. A liability order gives the Council the right to use bailiffs to obtain payment, to start Bankruptcy/Liquidation proceedings in certain circumstances, or to ask the Magistrates Court to commit a person to prison.

I have moved out of my business property - will I still have rates to pay?

From 1st April 2008 the legislation changed relating to unoccupied business premises. For the first 3 months there will be no rates payable (the first 6 month for industrial properties) but, if the property remains vacant after this period and you are still the owner or leaseholder, you will then be liable for rates. Rates are chargeable on all empty unoccupied property, unless the property is classed as exempt. Information on the properties classed as exempt can be found on our empty property rates page