Routinely Published Business Rates Information

The Council keeps accounts of business rates paid and owed; much of this information is frequently requested under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA).

Information disclosable under certain frequently received requests is published on this page on the first working day on or before the 1st of each month, and is accurate as-of the 1st of that month.

If you wish to submit an FOIA request for information outside the scope of this page, you should follow the guidance provided here.


 All Live Commercial Properties and their Ratepayers

Upload Date - 01/08/2017

This information is about all live commercial properties and their ratepayers; including: Property Address, Billing Authority Reference Number, Property Description, Current Rateable Value, Liable Party Name, Start Date of Liability, and Mailing Address.


Commercial Accounts in Credit and Accounts where a Credit has been Written-On

Upload Date - 01/08/2017

Worksheet 1:- Accounts in credit; including: Credit Balance, Liable Party Name, Mailing Address and Account Start and End Date.

Unfortunately, due to system limitations it is not possible to provide in one sheet the account balances of ratepayers, and information about the properties for which they are liable; you will be able to discover details about these properties by cross-referencing between the 'Accounts in Credit' worksheet and the 'All Live Commercial Properties and their Ratepayers' spreadsheet.

Worksheet 2:- Accounts which were in credit, and that credit was written-on; including: Property Address, Billing Authority Reference, Write-on Amount, Date of Write-on, Primary Liable Party Name, Mailing Address and Account Start & End Dates.

Worksheet two contains information about accounts which were in credit, and that credit was written-on because some party had legal means by which to reclaim the credit but this party could not be traced. Credits written-on because no party had legal means to reclaim them (for instances in some cases of bankruptcy) are not included; if you wish to be supplied with this information, please submit an FOIA request specifying this.


Exempt or Relieved Commercial Properties

Upload Date - 01/08/2017

Unfortunately, due to system limitations, it is not possible to provide in one sheet information about the exemptions and reliefs of the properties, and information about the ratepayers liable for these properties; you will be able to discover the liable party for each property by cross-referencing between the relevant worksheet in 'Exempt or Relieved Commercial Properties' and the 'All Live Commercial Properties and their Ratepayers' spreadsheet.

Worksheet 1:- Details of properties which are exempt from business rates; including: Property Address, Property Descriptions, Billing Authority Reference, Current Exemption, Exemption Start Date, Rateable Value.

Worksheet 2:- Details of properties which receive relief from Business Rates; including: Property Address, Property Description, Billing Authority Reference, Current Rateable Value, Relief Description, Percentage Relief Awarded, Start Date of Relief.

It should be noted that some properties are 'relieved' in name only (some empty properties for instance); ratepayers for these properties experience 0% rate relief, and therefore they are not included in the list. If you would like information about these properties, please submit an FOIA request specifying this.

Please note that the percentage relief reported for properties subject to small business rates relief are only estimates calculated as set out on this page of our website, note also that these estimates inevitably include minor rounding errors. Whilst the Council does hold the accurate percentage relief for each of the properties, our reporting software is unfortunately not able to report this data for multiple accounts. If you would like to request the percentage relief for specific properties you may do so.

Additionally, you should note that where a relief is described as "top up", this relief percentage can be summed with the other type of relief (typically mandatory charity relief) for that property to calculate the total percentage of relief.


Ratepayers Who Became Liable in the Last Year

Upload Date - 01/08/2017

List of properties for which a business rate account has been created in the last year; including: Property Address, Property Description, Billing Authority Reference, Status (live or not), Current Rateable Value, Liable Party Name, Liability Start Date and Mailing Address.


Mailing Addresses

Unfortunately, (excluding sole-traders) roughly a quarter of parties liable for business rates in our District have reported their contact mailing address as the private personal address of a representative of the organization. Naturally these data are personal under the Data Protection Act 1998, and cannot be disclosed; the difficulty in resolving this problem lies in differentiating between personal and official addresses. For this reason, in respect of the business rates information, we have put in-place the following temporary solution, which will be revised when we are satisfied that our rate-payers have had ample opportunity to submit revised mailing addresses if they so wish:

In all circumstances where the contact mailing address is the same as the hereditament address, this is provided; where the liable party is a sole trader, the word 'Redacted' is displayed in the contact mailing address field; in all other cases the phrase "Enquire Elsewhere" appears, this indicates that the Council holds this information (namely: a mailing address at which the liable party can be contacted) to be otherwise publicly available, (notably by using the 'Information on Existing Companies' search feature available on the Companies House website). We apologise for this temporary inconvenience.

 

Advice and Assistance

Ordinarily, when an FOI request is received which can be wholly satisfied by information published on this page, we will refer the applicant to this page without running one-off reports for their request. Nonetheless, we welcome requests for any advice and assistance you may require in interpreting the data available here. We also welcome requests which cannot be satisfied by the routinely published information.

 

Information Held by the Valuation Office

With respect to current, property-specific, information, the Council does not hold more information than the Valuation Office Agency (VOA). The VOA register is searchable at this address; in each case where property-specific information is disclosed, the Billing Authority reference number will be provided, which can be used to search the register for details of the property. The Council regards any information discoverable in this manner as reasonably accessible and therefore exempt from disclosure under the FOIA by virtue of section 21.

 

 Migration Data

In December 2014 the Council transferred all business rates information from a previous revenues system to the current one--a process referred to here as migration.

Information on write-ons before December 2014 cannot be provided due to migration. Accounts with a balance of £0.00 were given a nominal balance of -£0.01 and this amount was 'written on' during migration (this was a work-around for the problem of limited interoperability). Accordingly, we do not consider these credits to have been truly 'written on', and have excluded them from the list of credits written-on; if you require this information please submit an FOIA request specifying this.

 

 Sole Traders' Personal Data

Identifying personal data relating to natural persons acting as sole traders who pay business rates are not published on the ground that publication would breach the first data protection principle of the Data Protection Act 1998. The Council also considers this information to be exempt from disclosure under an FOIA request, under Section 40(3)(a)(i) of that Act. This conclusion notwithstanding, all non-personal account information held about sole traders is published, and personal data in any field is replaced with the word "Redacted"; fields denoted thusly should be taken as confirmation that the redacted information is held; fields left blank should be interpreted as an indication that the information is not held.

 

 Zero Rateable Value Properties 

Some properties in the district have a rateable value of £0; while parties are technically 'liable' for business rates in respect of these properties, they are not actually liable for any fees (since none arise). For this reason our practice is to exclude '0 RV' properties from requested and proactively-published datasets. If you would like information regarding '0 RV' properties, please submit an FOIA request specifying this.

 

 Properties without a Liable Party

Please note that we hold information about a small number of commercial properties which we are currently investigating to ascertain who is liable for their business rates. Due to the limitations of our reporting software, we are not able to include details of these properties in our reports, as we cannot report on a property without an associated liable party. If you require information about these properties please submit an FOIA request specifying this; we will use other methods to retrieve the information.

 

File-type

All reports are published in the MS Excel (.xls) file-type. If you desire a report in an alternative file-type, please send a request to Legal Services, stating the report and the file-type you desire; wherever possible the Council will comply with your request.