Business Rate Supplements Act 2009

Document Number:2009 CHAPTER 7
 
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An Act to confer power on the Greater London Authority and certain local authorities to impose a levy on non-domestic ratepayers to raise money for expenditure on projects expected to promote economic development; and for connected purposes.

[2 nd July 2009]

Be it enacted by the Queen’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

Power to impose business rate supplements

1 Power to impose a BRS

(1) A levying authority has power to impose a levy, to be called a “business rate supplement” (referred to in this Act as a “BRS”) , on non-domestic ratepayers in its area.

(2) The purpose of imposing a BRS is to raise money for expenditure on a project that the authority is satisfied will promote economic development in its area.

(3) A person is a “non-domestic ratepayer” in the area of a levying authority if the person is, as regards a hereditament in the authority’s area, subject to a non-domestic rate under—

(a) section 43 of the 1988 Act (occupiers of properties) , or

(b) section 45 of that Act (owners of empty properties).

(4)“The 1988 Act” means the Local Government Finance Act 1988 (c. 41).

2 Levying authorities

(1) In this Act, “levying authority” means—

(a) the Greater London Authority;

(b) a county council in England;

(c) a district council for an area in England for which there is no county council;

(d) a county council or county borough council in Wales.

(2) The power conferred on a levying authority by section 1(1) may be exercised jointly with one or more other levying authorities.

(3) Where two or more levying authorities are acting jointly by virtue of this section, a reference in this Act to a levying authority is (except where there is contrary provision) to be read as a reference to those authorities acting jointly.

3 Use of money raised by a BRS

(1) A levying authority must secure that the sums it receives in respect of a BRS are used only for expenditure—

(a) on the project to which the BRS relates, and

(b) that the authority would not have incurred had it not imposed the BRS.

(2) A levying authority may use sums it receives in respect of a BRS to make payments in respect of money loaned for the purpose of providing funding for the project to which the BRS relates.

(3) A levying authority must not use sums it receives in respect of a BRS to provide—

(a) housing;

(b) social services;

(c) education services;

(d) services for children;

(e) health services;

(f) services that the authority provides in the discharge of functions imposed by or under the Planning Acts (as defined by the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (c. 8)).

(4) Regulations may amend subsection (3) so as to add, vary or omit a reference to a matter.

(5) The Greater London Authority may make arrangements with a functional body for some or all of the sums that the Greater London Authority receives in respect of a BRS imposed by it to be used by the body for expenditure on the project to which the BRS relates.

(6) A reference to sums that a levying authority receives in respect of a BRS includes a reference to financial contributions made to it for the purpose of enabling the project to which the BRS relates to be carried out.

(7) The reference in subsection (6) to financial contributions made to a levying authority includes, where the levying authority is not a billing authority, financial contributions—

(a) made for the purpose specified in subsection (6) to a billing authority which is a lower-tier authority in relation to the levying authority, and

(b) transferred to the levying authority.

(8) A lower-tier authority is—

(a) in relation to the Greater London Authority—

(i) a London borough council, or

(ii) the Common Council of the City of London in its capacity as a local authority;

(b) in relation to a county council in England, a district council whose area forms part of the county council’s area.

(9) Where the Greater London Authority makes arrangements under subsection (5) with a functional body, this section applies to the body’s use of sums that it receives in respect of the BRS as it applies to the Authority’s use of sums that the Authority receives in respect of the BRS.

(10) A reference to sums that a functional body receives in respect of a BRS is a reference to—

(a) sums that the Greater London Authority transfers to the body for the purposes of arrangements under subsection (5) that relate to the BRS, and

(b) financial contributions made to the body for the purpose specified in subsection (6).

(11) In subsection (1)(b) as it is applied to a functional body by virtue of subsection (9) , the reference to expenditure of the levying authority is to be read as a reference to expenditure of the functional body.

Involvement of ratepayers, etc.

4 Conditions for imposing a BRS

A levying authority may not impose a BRS unless—

(a) it has published a document that sets out the proposal for the imposition of the BRS (an “initial prospectus”) ,

(b) it has consulted the relevant persons on the proposal,

(c) where there is to be a ballot on the imposition of the BRS, the ballot has been held and the imposition of the BRS approved, and

(d) it has published a document that sets out the arrangements for the imposition of the BRS (a “final prospectus”).

5 Prospectus

(1) Any initial or final prospectus must include the information specified in Schedule 1 (and may include such other information as the levying authority thinks appropriate).

(2) The function of the levying authority of approving a final prospectus before publication is a function that must be discharged only by the whole authority; but that does not apply in the case of the Greater London Authority.

(3) After publishing an initial or final prospectus, a levying authority must—

(a) place an electronic copy of the published prospectus on its website, and

(b) make copies of the published prospectus available for inspection at its principal office at all reasonable times of the day.

(4) In a case where two or more levying authorities are acting jointly by virtue of section 2 , each authority must separately—

(a) discharge the function of approving a final prospectus before publication, and

(b) comply with the duty imposed by subsection (3).

(5) Regulations may amend Schedule 1 so as to add, vary or omit a description of information.

6 Consultation

(1) The relevant persons for the purposes of consultation on the proposal in an initial prospectus are—

(a) each person who will be liable to pay the BRS;

(b) each lower-tier authority in relation to the levying authority;

(c) such other persons as the levying authority thinks appropriate.

(2) A person is to be regarded for the purposes of subsection (1)(a) as a person who will be liable to pay a BRS if the levying authority thinks that the person will be liable to pay a chargeable amount for the first day of the chargeable period of the BRS.

(3) A person is also to be regarded for the purposes of subsection (1)(a) as a person who will be liable to pay a BRS if the levying authority thinks that the person would, but for section 13(7) or (8) , be liable to pay a chargeable amount for the first day of the chargeable period of the BRS.

(4) A person is also to be regarded for the purposes of subsection (1)(a) as a person who will be liable to pay a BRS if the levying authority thinks that the person—

(a) would, but for section 15 or 16 , be liable to pay a chargeable amount for the first day of the chargeable period of the BRS, and

(b) will be liable to pay a chargeable amount before the end of that period.

(5) For the purposes of subsection (1)(c) , a levying authority must, in particular, think whether it would be appropriate to consult persons who the authority thinks might become liable to pay a chargeable amount before the end of the chargeable period of the BRS.

(6) The levying authority must publish a revised version of an initial prospectus if, in the light of the consultation on the proposal in the prospectus, the authority thinks that it is necessary or appropriate to do so.

(7) A reference in section 5 to an initial prospectus includes a reference to an initial prospectus revised under subsection (6) of this section.

(8) A reference in subsection (2) , (3) or (4) to a chargeable amount does not include a reference to a chargeable amount of zero.

7 Holding of ballot

(1) There must be a ballot on the imposition of a BRS if—

(a) A is more than one third of B, or

(b) the initial prospectus states that, even though paragraph (a) does not apply in relation to the BRS, the levying authority nevertheless thinks that there should be a ballot on the imposition of the BRS.

(2) For the purposes of subsection (1)(a)—

“A” is the amount specified in the initial prospectus as the amount the authority expects to raise from the imposition of the BRS, and

“B” is the amount specified in the initial prospectus as the amount the authority estimates as the total cost of the project to which the BRS relates.

(3) The proposition to be voted on in a ballot on the imposition of a BRS is—

“The [insert name of levying authority] proposes to introduce a business rate supplement. The proposal is set out in [insert title of prospectus]. Should the proposed business rate supplement be introduced?”

(4) A person is eligible to vote in a ballot on the imposition of a BRS if the person is within section 6(2) , (3) or (4).

(5) In a case where a revised initial prospectus is published under section 6(6) , a reference in this section to an initial prospectus is a reference to the revised initial prospectus.

8 Approval by ballot

(1) If a ballot on the imposition of a BRS is held, the imposition of the BRS is approved if—

(a) a majority of the persons voting in the ballot have voted in favour of the imposition of the BRS, and

(b) A exceeds B.

(2) For the purposes of subsection (1)—

“A” is the aggregate of...

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