Devon has been selected as one of 10 areas to take part in a national pilot allowing councils to retain 100 per cent of growth in business rates.
Plymouth City Council will be the lead authority in the Devon Business Rate Pilot, which will encourage councils to work together to deliver growth in the region.
Taking part in the pilot will help provide stability for the 11 member councils by providing minimum funding levels and will mean more funding to invest in service areas at a time when local authority budgets are under intense pressure.
It should also increase the resources available for investment in economic regeneration schemes across the region.
The councils have a combined collectible rate income of more than £400 million.
Councillor Ian Darcy, Plymouth City Council’s Cabinet Member for Finance said: “We have nothing to lose from being part of this initiative and so much to gain. We have set a course for growth and this pilot means our efforts to encourage more businesses, more jobs and more prosperity will pay dividends as we will all be able to share in the pooled rewards.”
This pilot will run for one year from 1 April 2018 will test whether full retention of business rates can be rolled out nationally.
The Government’s aim is for all local authorities to retain 75% of business rates from 2020 to 2021.
Business rates are charged on most non-domestic properties such as shops, offices, pubs, factories, holiday rental homes or guest houses. Levels are set by the Valuation Agency
The following authorities are in the Devon Pilot:
- Devon County Council
- East Devon District Council
- Exeter City Council
- Mid Devon District Council
- North Devon District Council
- Plymouth City Council
- South Hams District Council
- Teignbridge District Council
- Torbay District Council
- Torridge District Council
- West Devon Borough Council