Business rates explanatory notes

Business rate changes in the budget

The government announced changes to business rates in the spring budget 2017. The current position for each change is as follows.

1. Any business losing small business rate relief as a result of the revaluation will not see their bill increase next year by more than £50 a month:

We expect to implement this change shortly, with revised bills going out in September 2017.

2. Local independent pubs with a rateable value of less than £100,000 will receive a £1,000 discount on their 2017/2018 business rates bill: 

The pub relief scheme has been awarded and those pubs that qualify for this extra help have been sent new bills.

3. Local councils will be given extra grant to offer discretionary relief for business in hardship cases.

We are working with the other Buckinghamshire district councils to draw up a joint countywide scheme. Any scheme requires agreement from Bucks County Council, Thames Valley Police Authority and Bucks and Milton Keynes Fire Authority. We expect publication of the scheme details in September 2017.

Explanatory note for your business rates bill 2017/2018

Non-domestic rates

Non-domestic rates, or business rates, collected by local authorities are the way that those who occupy non-domestic property contribute towards the cost of local services.

Under the business rates retention arrangements introduced from 1 April 2013, authorities keep a proportion of the business rates paid locally. This provides a direct financial incentive for authorities to work with local businesses to create a favourable local environment for growth.

This money, together with revenue from council tax payers, revenue support grant provided by the government and certain other sums, is used to pay for the services provided by local authorities in your area. See GOV.UK: Business rates (external website) for further information about the business rates system, including transitional and other reliefs.

Revaluation 2017 and transitional arrangements

All rateable values are reassessed at a general revaluation. The 2017 revaluation takes effect from 1 April 2017. Revaluations make sure each ratepayer pays their fair contribution and no more, by ensuring that the share of the national rates bill paid by any one ratepayer reflects changes over time in the value of their property relative to others. Revaluation does not raise extra money for government.

Whilst the 2017 revaluation will not increase the amount of rates collected nationally, within this overall picture, over seven out of 10 ratepayers will receive a reduction or no change in their bill and some ratepayers will see increases.

For those that would otherwise see significant increases in their rates liability, the government has put in place a £3.6 billion transitional relief scheme (external website) to limit and phase in changes in rate bills as a result of the 2017 revaluation. To help pay for the limits on increases in bills, there also have to be limits on reductions in bills.

Under the transitional scheme, limits continue to apply to yearly increases and decreases until the full amount is due (rateable value times the appropriate multiplier). The scheme applies only to the bill based on a property at the time of the revaluation. If there are any changes to the property after 1 April 2017, transitional arrangements will not normally apply to the part of a bill that relates to any increase in rateable value due to those changes.

The transitional arrangements are applied automatically and are shown on the front of your bill. Further information about transitional arrangements and other reliefs may be obtained here

Calculating business rates

Rateable value

The rateable value of your property is shown on the front of your bill. This represents the yearly rent on a particular date. For the revaluation that came into effect on 1 April 2017, this date was set as 1 April 2015.

The rateable value is set by the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) (external website).


If you believe your rateable value is wrong, you can appeal against it to the VOA.

Business rates multiplier

We work out your business rates by multiplying the rateable value of the property by either:

  • the standard non-domestic rating multiplier; or
  • the small business non-domestic rating multiplier

The current multipliers are shown on the front of your bill.

Business rates instalments

Payment of business rate bills is automatically set on a 10-monthly cycle. However, the Government has put in place regulations that allow businesses to require their local authority to enable payments to be made through 12 monthly instalments. If you wish to take up this offer, you should contact us as soon as possible.

Business rates relief

There are a number of business rate reliefs available. This information reflects changes to reliefs from 1 April 2017. See:

Rating advisers

Ratepayers do not have to be represented in discussions about their rateable value or their rates bill. However, ratepayers who do wish to be represented should be aware that members of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) (external website) and the Institute of Revenues, Rating and Valuation (IRRV) (external website) are qualified and are regulated by rules of professional conduct designed to protect the public from misconduct.

Information supplied with demand notices

See How council tax is spent for information Wycombe DC  gross expenditure in relevant and previous financial years. For a hard copy please contact us.

Contact information

  • Telephone: 01494 412 226